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Malachite bead strands£19.95
Malachite Cabochons£0.80 – £12.95
Malachite Egg Carvings£9.95 – £12.95
Malachite Specimens / Rough£2.95
Malachite specimens from the Congo (Velvet)£17.95
Malachite is a lovely banded green Copper ore, which is typically sold polished or carved to really show off the gorgeous colours.
Uses and History
It has been mined since antiquity. In Britain, the mines at Great Orme have been mined since around 3800 years ago for Copper production.
It is named after the ancient Greek word for “mallow”, which was a green herb.
Malachite was also used as a mineral pigment in green dyes until as late as the 1800s, after which it was replaced with synthetic forms.
As a decorative stone, it has been used in some truly grandiose designs, including rooms at the Hermitage and the Castillo de Chapultepec. Typically speaking, Malachite is either used as a Copper ore, polished or sold as a mineral specimen nowadays.
There are thousands of Malachite locales around the world, so it is impossible to list them all! Instead, I have listed some locales I have seen particularly nice specimens from. I’m sure more will be added in future!
- Kambove District, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo
- Lubumbashi, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo
- Kolwezi mining district, Lualaba, DR Congo
- Um Samiuki, Eastern Desert, Red Sea, Egypt
- Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
- Ndola, Copperbelt Province, Zambia
- Nehbandan County, South Khorasan Province, Iran
- Guichi District, Chizhou, Anhui, China
- Yangchun Co., Yangjiang, Guangdong, China
- Daye Co., Huangshi, Hubei, China
- Dongchuan District, Kunming, Yunnan, China
- Nizhnii Tagil, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia
- Ortenaukreis, Freiburg Region, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
- Hof District, Upper Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
- Pécs, Baranya County, Hungary
- Rudabánya, Kazincbarcika District, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary
- Killimor, County Galway, Connacht, Ireland
- Beara Peninsula, Co. Cork, Ireland
- Elba Island, Livorno Province, Tuscany, Italy
- Gmina Janowice Wielkie, Jelenia Góra County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
- Chęciny, Kielce Co., Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Poland
- Conceição, Vila Viçosa, Évora, Portugal
- Great Orme, Llandudno, Conwy, Wales, UK
- Botallack, St Just, Cornwall, England, UK
- Wheal Buller and Beauchamp, Redruth, Cornwall, England, UK
- Dodington, Bridgwater, Sedgemoor, Somerset, England, UK
- Antofagasta, Chile
- Paipote, Copiapó Province, Atacama, Chile
- Sierra Bolsico area, Vallenar, Huasco Province, Atacama, Chile
- Cuitaca, Santa Cruz Municipality, Sonora, Mexico
- Ojocaliente Municipality, Zacatecas, Mexico
- Yauyos Province, Lima, Peru
Australia and Oceania:
- Condobolin district, Kennedy Co., New South Wales, Australia
- Batchelor, Coomalie Shire, Northern Territory, Australia
- Cloncurry, Cloncurry Shire, Queensland, Australia
- Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia
- Whim Creek, Roebourne Shire, Western Australia, Australia
- North Flinders Ranges, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, Australia
- Galore Creek, Liard Mining Division, British Columbia, Canada
- Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
The crystal habits of Malachite lead to some pretty interesting variations, which give the mineral a good amount of variety for collectors.
Silky velvet Malachite is a fibrous form which seems to shimmer, and has a silky optical effect.
Botryoidal Malachite has an appearance similar to balls, or bunches of grapes – it is one of the more common formations and creates excellent banding.
Malachite stalactites have formed by precipitation – drop by drop. This creates interesting formations which can be sliced to give an amazing almost round cross section.
- Fibrous Malachite has a silky luster.
- Crystalline Malachite can have a vitreous luster.
- Massive Malachite typically has a dull to earthy luster.
Photos of Malachite
Hazards and Warnings
If you are looking up the hazards of Malachite online, make sure not to confuse it with “Malachite Green”. This is a chemical used as a dye and an anti microbial agent, which can be quite toxic.
Malachite is relatively safe to handle – the danger comes from crushing, cutting, or otherwise working with it. Ingestion is the issue, really.
Almost all rocks, minerals (and, frankly, almost all other substances on earth) can produce toxic dust when cutting, which can cause serious respiratory conditions including silicosis.
When cutting or polishing rocks, minerals, shells, etc, all work should be done wet to minimise the dust, and a suitable respirator or extraction system should be used.