A glamorous gemstone and sculptural material used for thousands of years, Malachite is still very loved today. Most often, it is cut into cabochons or made into beads for jewelry. It has a distinct appearance in vivid and deep dark green, with crystals that are darker shades, most often banded in masses. It is considered a rare gem, since most of the original resources have been depleted in time. A piece of malachite with “peacock’s eye” rings has a certain amount of value based on the number of rings it has and the visibility of those rings.
In Russia, the tsars often used malachite as a decoration for their palaces, including the Malachite Hall of the Winter Palace, located in Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage museum. Although it’s not mined currently, the Urals region of Russia, which is rich in malachite, has been extensively mined in the past. Malachite has been found in several other places, including Zaire, Germany, France, Chile, Australia and US.
Malachite is a mineral that forms shallowly in the Earth’s crust, above copper deposits. These minerals form from descending solutions in fractures, caverns, cavities, and spaces of porous rocks. Crystallizing in a monoclinic crystal system, malachite commonly forms botryoidal, fibrous, and stalagmitic masses.
A copper carbonate mineral, Malachite is a very soft stone, with a hardness of only 3.5 to 4 on Mohs scale. Malachite’s properties are similar to those of azurite, except for its vivid green color. It is also commonly found with azurite deposits. Pseudomorphs of azurite are common. A pseudomorph is an alternate mineral that has chemically replaced the original mineral, but retains its appearance. Azurite crystals that look nearly perfect may turn out to be malachite in the transformation process.
Its vivid color does not fade in light. However, it is a rather fragile stone, given the fact that is is so soft and it can scratch easily. In order to add additional hardness and protection, many gemstone collectors will coat Malachite gemstones with resin or wax. Another reason to coat is is that, like any other stone with copper content, cut and ground Malachite can react and release copper fumes in contact with water and acids. Of course, polished stones that are not broken are considered very safe to wear outdoor.
Malachite was believed to be capable of warning of danger, and if danger approached it would break apart. The Book of the Dead indicates that the Egyptians believed the goddess of the sky dropped stars on earth as green stones. It was known as the peacock stone, which was the emblem of the goddess Juno in ancient Rome. Malachite was commonly shaped into a triangle and was believed to counteract evil eyes.
Symbolism: Power, Protection, Love, Peace, Business Success
Chakra: Heart chakra, Solar plexus chakra
General Use: carry a small piece in a bag or pocket, wear it in jewelry like rings, bracelets or pendants, keep it around in your home
Crystal healing: Vibration: Malachite has a earthy, deep vibration. Gazing at malachite or holding it in your receptive hand relaxes the nervous system and calms stormy emotions. Malachite promotes tranquility and ensures sleep if worn to bed. Held, it dispels depression.
Feng Shui: Small pieces of malachite placed at each corner of a building have been known to draw customers. A salesman’s stone, it has a positive effect on obtaining good deals.
Ancient traditions: Malachite was commonly worn in old times as an amulet to protect against enchantment and evil eye. Historically, it was thought to be most effective when engraved with rayed Sun figures. According to ancient beliefs, Malachite is a natural prophylactic against danger that benefits nursing mothers and protects their children. Because the ancients believed sunlight was against black magic, necromancers, and demons, they carved the sun onto the stone. Throughout history, the stone has also been used to heal the eyes. Malachite was mined in the Sinai copper mines that were sacred to the Egyptian goddess Hathor (Venus) more than six thousand years ago. In Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia church, the columns made of Malachite were recycled from Ephesus’ temple of Diana.
Pagan beliefs: In pagan traditions, wear a piece of malachite to detect impending danger. According to legend, malachite breaks into pieces as a warning to the owner of a looming danger. Known long ago as a magical stone, this green stone with bands of varying green hues lends extra power during rituals. Wear it, hold it, or put it on your altar to increase your ability to send power in the direction of your goal. The green malachite has strong protective properties, despite its serene color. Travelers commonly use malachite as a guardian stone to prevent falling.