MALACHITE (ma-lə-kīt) is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral that is found worldwide, including across Africa, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia, and the United States (much of it in Arizona). Its chemical composition is Cu2CO3(OH)2. It ranks around a 3.5 hardness on the Mohs scale.
Malachite is created when dissolved carbonates (from limestone) react with copper minerals. For example, if water containing carbon dioxide or carbonates drips onto copper ore, a chemical reaction can occur and malachite will form as a crust. The rings, referred to as “banding”, in malachite are caused by the different proportions of carbonate and copper present when it forms. In nature it is often found as botryoidal (“bubble-shaped”) masses as well as banded layers.
The name comes from Greek, but there is some debate over the exact root. Some believe that it comes from “malakos” (soft), or from “malache” (mallow), in reference to the green color of mallow leaves.
Malachite was mined by the Egyptians as early as 4000 BCE. The Egyptians carved and polished these stones for use in sculptures and jewelry. They also ground them into powder for use in eyeshadow and paints. Since then, malachite was used as a pigment by many classical painters, as well as for jewelry and sculptures through the ages.
Malachite is well-known as a protection stone. It absorbs negative energies and promotes safe travel and well-being. It is especially good for psychic protection and dispelling harmful vibrations.
It is also used as a support stone, and can be used to get through tough times or to help influence the user to make a lifestyle change. This stone is good at soothing the user’s aura and balancing the chakras.
Carry this stone if you are in need of emotional support or are trying to overcome a particularly difficult obstacle in your life.
Malachite is very popular for its money-drawing properties as well, and it is common lore to put a piece of malachite in the cash register drawer or on an executive’s desk to keep money flowing smoothly. It can be used alone or in combination with lodestones and/or pyrite in this capacity.
Care and Cleansing
This stone can be fragile, so be gentle with your rings, belt buckles, and other jewelry that is prone to getting knocked around. Store malachite away from pointed gems, as they may scratch it. If you plan on doing lapidary work, take precautions to prevent breathing any dust that may be generated. It is also sensitive to heat.
Malachite may contain trace amounts of arsenic, depending on its origin. The trace amounts are not enough to cause arsenic poisoning and polished stones can be worn or carried without concern for this chemical.
However, malachite does have considerable quantities of copper sulphate and this makes it very unsuitable for elixirs or internal use of any kind. The copper sulphate is very sensitive to acids and should not be exposed to them for any length of time as it will cause the malachite to break down and potentially emit toxic fumes.
Great care should be taken during lapidary work not to breathe the dust. Use proper respiratory filters and eye protection and wash up thoroughly afterwards.
Malachite is best cleaned with mild soap, water, and a soft cloth. It is not safe for use in ultrasonic cleaners.
To clear and cleanse malachite, leave it in the sun for up to an hour or run it under water for around a minute. Prolonged sunlight may fade the stone over time, but it can also be cleansed with other gems or by smudging.
We also have it available at our brick and mortar shop.