Malachite a Transformative Gemstone

Malachite is a bright green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral contain 57.48% Cu (copper) in the purest form. Malachite occurs worldwide including Congo, Gabon, Zambia, Namibia, Mexico, Australia, and with the largest deposit/mine in the Urals region, Russia.

 Organic green gemstone patterned necklace - Sundara Joon

Malachite's characteristic swirling and concentric band patterns are a result of its formation process. Technically, malachite is a "secondary mineral," which means it's created by a chemical reaction between minerals that were already formed, rather than by a simple single-step process. Malachite may form when water containing carbon dioxide or dissolved carbonate minerals interacts with rocks containing copper or when solutions containing dissolved copper minerals interact with carbonate rocks. Malachite's swirls and bands reflect the waxing and waning of the solutions necessary for formation and the changes in their chemical content.

 Malachite prince pendant necklace with chain - Sundara Joon

Why is Malachite Special?

 

Malachite is known as the “stone of transformation” bringing deep energy cleaning, healing properties and positive transformation.

The ancient Egyptians considered it “god stone” and it was worn as an amulet to shield against harmful ideas and ominous spirits; essentially ward off evil. Green was a highly symbolic color representing new life and fertility.

 Double sided beaded malachite necklace - Sundara Joon

In Christianity, malachite has been associated with Saint Francis of Assisi, who was believed to have possessed the ability to understand the language of animals through this stone, thus reinforcing his spiritual connection with nature.

 

Some surprising uses for malachite

Malachite is a fairly soft stone, easily ground into a powder. The pigment made from the stone was richer and brighter than any other. It was known under the name Chrysocolla or copper green. Due to its popularity and prevalence in the ancient world, the stone was used as eye paint by ancient Egyptians (Cleopatra is said to apply it)  and in paintings from Japan and China. Though with the rise of the popularity of oil paint, the stone itself growing in scarcity and the labor needed to make malachite green, the shade fell out of favor across the world.

 

These days, when we think of a dark green stone mined for jewelry, emeralds come to mind. However, while malachite is a slightly obscure stone now, it was perhaps one of the first green stones mined for its properties and beauty. Evidence of malachite mining has been found near the Isthmus of Suez and the Sinai as early as 4000 BC. Archaeologists have discovered that emerald, on the other hand, was mined almost 2000 years later with the first mines being identified to be from around 2000 BC.

 

How to Care for Malachite Jewelry:

  • The malachite is a relatively soft stone that does not get along with water. Prolonged contact can damage it and cause the copper in it to leech out.
  •  Malachite also does not do well in extreme temperature changes, especially heat. 
  • Do not use water, steam or ultrasonic cleaners with this stone. A soft dry cloth should do the trick.
  • Try to prevent cosmetics, lotions, sunscreens from coming in contact with the stone.

 

Our artist friends here at Sundara Joon have been hard at work making some beautiful pieces incorporating this special stone. Check out their special jewelry for yourself.

 

 Still Want More?

  •  IGS (International Gem Society) article on malachite
  • A fun, informative video: https://youtu.be/IK50gwdq-7k?feature=shared
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