Malachite is a beautiful green opaque gemstone that’ll leave you mesmerized once observed closely. Its puzzling shades and outlandish appearance never cease to impress stone admirers all over the world. To enhance your understanding of this gorgeous stone, we will glance through some of its origins, places of mining, benefits and use in jewellery.
COMPOSITION AND SOURCE
Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral part of the monoclinic crystal system. Its main visual peculiarity – an easily noticeable curbing pattern composed of several dark and light variations of green hues. This colour banding of different shades of green gives the gemstone a completely unique appearance that is easily distinguishable from others. Its physical form takes occurrence from the weathering of hydrothermal fluids with minerals, notably copper ores, in mountainous areas and deep underground caves.
HISTORY & KEY LOCATIONS OF MALACHITE
The name is rooted from the Greek word “Molocha” which means mallow – in reference to the leaves of a famous herbaceous plant with hairy stems.
This green gemstone has a very long and diverse path. In the course of history, archaeologists made findings on 6 different continents. Ancient civilizations such as the Babylonians, Egyptians, Mayans, Greeks and Chinese have regularly made use of it, whether it was for sculpting something in particular or displaying its absolute splendour through jewellery making.
Some of the earliest known locations of extraction are the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and the Great Orme Mines in Britain, both roughly around 4000 BC. A mosaic made of malachite was used to construct the funerary mask of the Red Queen of Palenque, a celebrated Mayan leader from the 7th Century AD. Throughout the Middle Ages, it was an accustomed practice for knights to wear it underneath their heavy armour as a sign of protection and guidance. It would ideally be engraved with the sun’s emblem to sustain health and avoid sadness during the crusades for instance. Hence it’s ideal for our malachite necklace designs which act as amulets.
Over the past centuries, the main source of extraction for malachite was Russia, especially during the 18th Century. The Ural Mountains were a highly symbolic location for sourcing, where abundant deposits had been regularly discovered. During the Renaissance period, it was used as a source of mineral pigment by painters who wished to draw trees, with a much more appealing green colour. Speaking of artwork, the Medici Vase which is entirely made of malachite can be examined at Saint-Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, giving tourists the chance to revive the decors of this period in history.
At the present moment, large deposits are actively mined in Africa, prominently in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. Other malachite rich sites include Mexico, Australia, Israel (Timna Valley) and the State of Arizona in the United States.
BELIEFS & BENEFITS
Legend says it is considered to ward off evil spirits and is often used to protect children. Some parents will put a small bead of malachite in their infant’s cradle to repel any dark energy in the room and keep them nightmare free. The stone enhances fertility, spiritual growth and shield.
According to ancient beliefs, it could be pulverized and dissolved with goat milk to help with disease healing. Medical practitioners would mix it with honey and apply to fresh wounds to encourage healing. Some of these practices are known to be beneficial for skin health, especially the regeneration process of tissues.
MALACHITE USED IN JEWELLERY MAKING
Malachite comes in a range of fashions, all of which serve gorgeous and bizarre patterns after it is meticulously cut and polished. This marvellous-looking green gemstone is best combined with 18ct white or yellow gold. Beads are used by jewellery designers to craft beautiful necklaces and malachite earrings. While a natural cabochon can become a dazzling pendant or ring, evoking a mysterious flair and strike the curiosity of admirers.
Armoura Designs always thrives for originality when handcrafting pieces. We would be delighted to demonstrate our own fine selection of Malachite Jewellery.
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