Malachite is a visually striking green mineral, that is popular for its vibrant colouration and distinctive banding or swirling patterns. This mineral is also valued for its metaphysical properties and was even once ground up to use as eyeshadow in Ancient Egypt. Read on to learn the history, healing properties and more about this beautiful stone.
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WHAT IS MALACHITE?
Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, known for its distinctive green colour. Its green appearance is due to the copper content within the mineral. Often it is found in association with other copper based minerals such as Azurite and Chrysocolla. It forms as a secondary mineral in the oxidised zone of copper ore deposits. The presence of Malachite is an excellent indicator for copper exploration. Typically it is found in botryoidal grape like masses or in stalactite formation. It can also occur as small crystals, but is more commonly found in massive form.
It was first discovered over 4000 years ago, with artifacts dating back to as early as 4000BCE. Although the exact date is difficult to pinpoint, it has a long history of use by various cultures. Ancient Egyptians for example used it as a pigment for artwork, jewellery, amulets and even in cosmetics. In Ancient Greece and Rome it was also used for jewellery and decorative products. Not only does Malachite possess aesthetic qualities, it has been appreciated and used by various civilizations for thousands of years.
WHAT ARE THE HEALING PROPERTIES OF MALACHITE?
Malachite has been associated with many different metaphysical beliefs and healing properties, throughout history and across different cultures. While many crystal healers believe the benefits of crystal healing, its important to note it is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical or mental health condition.
Here are some of the prominent healing properties of Malachite:
- Protection: It is believed to be an effective stone for protection, to ward off negative energies and entities. It is also thought to create a protective energetic shield around the wearer, or environment it is kept in.
- Emotional Healing: Often it is thought to assist in emotional healing and transformation. It is said to help release emotional traumas, promote emotional balance and encourage personal growth.
- Balance: It is thought to bring balance to emotions and encourage positive, harmonious relationships. It is believed to balance the energies within the body and align the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of a person.
- Chakra Alignment: Linked to the Heart chakra which is the centre of love, compassion and emotional balance. It is believed to assist in bringing the Heart chakra into alignment, allowing energy to flow freely and promote emotional healing.
- Creativity: Malachite is often associated with creativity and artistic expression. It is said to stimulate imagination, enhance creativity and promote innovative thinking. It is believed to help individuals tap into their imagination, think outside the box and find inspiration for artistic endeavours. Meditating with Malachite is thought to facilitate the flow of creative ideas and encourage innovative thinking.
WHERE IS MALACHITE FOUND?
Malachite is found worldwide in many locations, some of which include Congo, Zambia, Mexico, Namibia and Australia. Historically the largest deposits were situated in the Urals Region in Russia. These deposits were mined aggressively and are no longer being mined in Ural at present. Today the most common source of Malachite on the market is mined in Africa, from deposits in the Democratic Republic Of The Congo. It is considered to be a rare gemstone due to the original deposits being depleted, leaving behind very few sources.
HOW TO CARE FOR MALACHITE
Malachite has a hardness rating of approximately 3.5 - 4 on the MOHS scale. This means it is relatively soft compared to other minerals. This softness makes it susceptible to scratching and abrasion, so requires gentle care when handling or when worn as jewellery. With this rating on the MOHS scale, it is below the minimum safety requirement to be in or submerged in water. Also due to the high copper content within the mineral it should not be placed into water. Submerging it in water for prolonged periods may cause damage to the coating of the stone and make the copper compounds in the stone leech. This can cause Malachite to release toxic fumes and also make the water toxic.
Primarily raw and fibrous Malachite pieces pose more risk compared to polished pieces, specifically in the cutting and polishing process. Throughout the cutting and polishing process, dust is released and the particles are toxic when inhaled. When Malachite is inhaled it causes irritation to the respiratory tract.
Its is an extremely good practice to be extra cautious when handling rough or fibrous specimens. Make sure after its been handled to wash your hands thoroughly.
A great quality about Malachite is not only its rich green colour, but its ability to retain its colour. Many crystals are at risk of fading with exposure to sunlight, but the colouration of Malachite does not fade over time.
HOW TO CLEANSE MALACHITE
Cleansing is a practice in many belief systems and holistic traditions to clear any negative or stagnant energy from a crystal and re-energise it. Cleansing can still be done in a number of different ways that doesn't involve submerging your crystal in water. A popular method for cleansing is using the smoke from incense sticks.
HOW TO IDENTIFY FAKE MALACHITE
Unfortunately due to its rarity and higher price point, Malachite is often subject to being faked. These cheap imitations on the market are made from plastic, glass or even polymer clay and although can pass off from a distance, they tend to lack the weight and texture of real Malachite. Sometimes products on the market are often mislabelled and consumers can be led to believe it is in fact the real deal. As a consumer it can be disappointing and frustrating to learn that your newest purchase isn't what you thought it was.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to determine if the Malachite you have is authentic or a copy. When you know what to look for, I personally believe its a pretty simple one to determine whether or not you have true Malachite.
- Compare The Price
As the saying goes, if its too good to be true, it probably is. When you are looking to purchase Malachite, shop around and check out some reputable sources. A counterfeit crystal will generally be significantly cheaper compared to genuine pieces.
- Examine The Colours And Patterns
Genuine Malachite crystals display an array of distinct banding and inconsistent patterns. It will have a variety of green shades with intricate banding and swirling patterns. All of the patterns wont repeat and the green colouring will vary much more.
When shopping for Malachite carefully examine the pieces or photos as best as you can. Fake Malachite will often consist of colours that are uniform or overly bright. They also appear to have a painted or printed pattern look, with harsh contrast between the lines.
- Observe Other Malachite Products Available At The Store
If you notice a number of Malachite crystals that appear to look identical as each other in the one store, its more than likely an imitation. Authentic Malachite should have some variation and be unique in colour and patterning.
- Check The Weight
Genuine Malachite is a copper carbonate mineral, that is relatively heavy for its size. Fake Malachite as mentioned above is typically made from materials such as, plastic, glass or polymer clay. These are all much lighter than you would expect genuine pieces to be. It will also be cold to touch, where as a plastic or clay will be more of a room temperature to touch.
WHERE TO BUY MALACHITE?
Celestial Stones offers a variety of polished, Malachite, in different shapes and sizes at our online crystal shop. We aim to bring our customers the very best, authentic crystals in Australia. Our Malachite is sourced from a trusted supplier, ensuring that you receive genuine and authentic pieces.