Malachite is a beautiful decorative stone and its rich, patterned colouration in shades of green is unique among gems.
Malachite is a green copper carbonate mineral that can be found in all corners of the globe, from Russia to Australia, from the Amazon to Africa.
The stone’s name derives from the Greek “μολόχη” (molochē), a variant of “μαλάχη” (malāchē), due to its resemblance to the leaves of the mallow plant, a green herb.
Mined in the Sinai and eastern deserts of Ancient Egypt from as early as 3,000 BC Malachite was used as an eye paint, a pigment for wall painting, in glazes and the colouring of glass. It was also highly priced amongst early Aztec cultures and in ancient China.
It was used as a mineral pigment in green paints from Antiquity until about 1800.
Malachite found its greatest admirers in the courts of imperial Russia in the early 1900s when tsars and princesses dedicated entire halls of their palaces to this gemstone, such as the Malachite Room in the Hermitage Museum which features a large fireplace and rows of columns entirely made of Malachite.
In jewellery, Malachite has long been popular and its use is widespread.
It is also said to be an important protection stone which absorbs negative energies and pollutants from the atmosphere and the body.
📷 Geology Science
📷 Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
📷 Woolley & Wallis, early 19th century Gold and Malachite suite