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Malachite

Malachite is green stone with irregular bands of lighter and darker green. The name malachite comes from the Greek word malache which means mallow, for the mallow leaf of the same hue.

Malachite was popular with ancient civilizations in Egypt, Rome, and Greece where it was used in jewelry as well as cosmetics. During the Middle Ages, people believed it protected against childhood dangers as well as being a cure for vomiting.

Gem cutters pay special attention to orienting malachite in order to showcase the interesting layers and markings. This makes the stone popular for objets d’art, jewelry, inlay and other ornaments.

Malachite Cameo.

Gemological Information for Malachite

  
Color:Bluish Green or Green, Banded
Crystal Structure:Monoclinic
Refractive Index:1.655 to 1.909
Durability:Poor
Hardness:3.5 to 4
Family:
Similar Stones:Chlorastrolite, Azurmalachite, Dyed Onyx
Treatments:Paraffin or Resin Impregnation
Country of Origin:Worldwide including Australia, US, Chile, South Africa, Israel, France

Malachite Care

  
Ultrasonic Cleaning:Never
Steam Cleaning:Never
Warm Soapy Water:Safe
Chemical Attack:Attacked by Acid
Light Sensitivity:Stable
Heat Sensitivity:Affected

Sources

  • Gem Reference Guide, Los Angeles: Gemological Institute of America, 1988. Pp. 161-162.
  • Newman, Harold. An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, New York: Thames and Hudson, 1981. Pp. 192.
  • Schumann, Walter. Gemstones of the World, New York: Sterling Publishing, Co., 1977. Pp. 176.