Malachite is one of the most instantly recognisable of the gemstones, with its distinctive bright green tones and beautiful patterns it instantly brings to mind the greens in found in nature, which explains its name : Malachite comes from the ancient Greek word Malakee meaning resemblance to the leave of the Mallow tree.
MALACHITE THROUGH THE AGES
This is one of the oldest known stones, dating back to use by the Ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC, when it was mined from the Suez and Sinai regions, and here in Britain at the Great Orme mines as far back as 3,800 years ago The Romans and Greeks also used the gemstone for ornaments and jewellery and it remained popular during the middle ages and it was believed to protect against the “Evil Eye” when people thought that the power of bright objects could ward away dark magic. At times in history it was even ground to powder to use as eyeshadow or paint pigment and it covered whole walls as panelling during the reign of the Tzars in Russia.
WHAT PROPERTIES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH MALACHITE?
This gemstone is mainly connected with the idea of protection. Over the years it was worn by people believing it would absorb any negative energy and serve to protect because of its deep connection with nature. The lush green colours of the stone were naturally associated with the bright colours of botanics and the idea of the world bursting into life. Some would attatch the stone to a crib thinking it would protect the child and warn off evil spirits and in some parts of Italy this tradition is continued today by children wearing malachite charms on red cords. It is also said to have healing powers and work to reduce swelling or inflamation as well as stimulate the immune system. Since no two stones look alike it has a unique appeal as early wearers found significance in the patterns and shapes in the stones.
WHERE IS MALACHITE FOUND IN THE WORLD?
Over the years Malachite has been found far and wide but is more commonly sourced today in parts of Africa, Australia, Israel, Mexico and Southwestern USA (most usually in Arizona). It tends to look its best when flat cut to best show off the beautiful natural patterns and lines in the gemstone. It is particularly striking when set in gold and is one of the most eyecatching of the natural minerals available.