Name: Malachite
Color(s): Vivid, bluish green to green, usually banded in two or more tones of green; may have sheen
Mineral Information: Basic Copper Carbonate, Aragonite Group
Chemical Make-up: Cu2CO3(OH)2
Hardness: 4
Where they are found: Ural Mountains, Congo, Canada, Tsumeb, Namibia, Russia, Mexico, Zaire, Australia, England and Israel
About Stone: Crystal structure is monoclinic and typically globular or massive, but also occurs as fibrous, tabular, radiated, and bunches. Occasionally it is also botryoidal, producing a sheen similar to that of tiger eye. Some specimens may also have a crust of druzy on the surface. Malachite’s name comes from the Greek word “molochitis” meaning mallow-green stone. It is very rarely found in single crystals. Archeological evidence suggests this mineral has been mined and smelted for well over 3000 years. Malachite is found alongside copper deposits, and is very similar to azurite, another secondary mineral of copper. It forms when copper minerals reacts with carbonated water or limestone.
Malachite probably derives its name from either Greek malhe, meaning grass for its green color or Greek malakos, meaning soft because the stone lends itself well to being carved. With its concentric, eye-like rings of green that mimic the eye of a peacock feather, this stone has captured the imagination of many cultures for ages, and has been described by poets as spring grass swaying in the wind.
The first culture to use malachite for adornment was ancient Egypt around 4,000 BC. The Egyptians used malachite as an ornamental stone in jewelry and art. The stone was imported from King Solomon’s infamous copper mines on the Red Sea. Archeologists have found Egyptian tomb paintings using malachite gemstones that had been ground into paint that colored the walls. It was also ground into a fine dust and mixed with galena, a thick paste used to make kohl, on slate palettes to be painted onto eyelids as a cosmetic and talisman against evil. Vivid green malachite kohl is believed to be Cleopatra’s favorite cosmetic, and she was buried with a large vase of it for use in her afterlife.
Malachite also played an important role in European paintings during the Renaissance period of the 15th and 16th centuries as a pigment for paints and dyes. It is believed that many of the green colors found in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting were painted with malachite-based oil paints.
Zodiac Association: Scorpio and Capricorn
Metaphysical Properties: Malachite promotes harmony and improves communication throughout your physical body. Its soothing energy moves inside your body in rhythmic waves, alerting your body to its own disharmonies and healing deep seated areas of distress. Improves sleep.