This is just a wonderful mineral with the fascinating swirls and bands of varying green colour.

The  green shades of Malachite are very distinctive and in polished form provide very attractive ornaments. It is probably one of the better known copper carbonate minerals.

 

Other than its’ vibrant green colour it has similar properties to Azurite and the two minerals are frequently found together.

Cristaux d'azurite sur nodules de malachite (Maroc) by Parent GéryPolished slice of Malachite and Azurite (in stock)

The stone name comes via Latin and French from Molochitis meaning “mallow-green stone “.

Malachite was used as a mineral pigment since antiquity until around 1800.

Natural unpolished Malachite

The unusual colour banding represents successive growth from hydrothermal fluids in veins and in the oxidised zone of copper deposits.

Polished Malachite OrnamentPolished Malachite Pendant

Large quantities of Malachite have been mined in the Ural mountains, it is also found in the Democratic Republic of Conga, Namibia, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, New South Wales and elsewhere. In the Timna valley in Isreal it has been mined for over 3,000 years an area often known as King Solomons mines much of this is now used for smelting but the finer pieces are used for ornaments and worked into jewellery.

Charlotte

© Copyright Charlotte M Bailey 2013

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