Malachite

The literal Greek translation of this beautiful stone’s name is 'mallow-green stone'. This is because its appearance resembles the leaves of the mallow plant - rich, vibrant green. Malachite gets this colour from the high copper content in the stone. The stones are usually polished to reveal beautiful rich seams of light and dark green. Malachite can be set in a variety of jewellery pieces, although usually it is malachite beads that are most readily available. Alternatively, malachite may be carved for ornamental use.

Malachite Loose Gemstones and Beads available to buy on eBay

About Malachite

Malachite is usually a rich green colour, which on closer inspection reveals bands of irregular, contrasting green stripes. Malachite is in fairly large supply when compared to other gemstones. Perhaps this may be one reason why it isn't prized so much in jewellery making these days; it seems that if it isn't rare, it isn't interesting. This is a real shame. Malachite is very beautiful and was extremely popular in jewellery in the nineteenth century. Often set in gold, the Victorians prized malachite above many other gemstones we treasure today.

Malachite Gemstone

Typical Malachite Uses

Malachite is an opaque stone, usually highly polished, often to give a stunning vitreous lustre. It is inexpensive and perfect for non-professional jewellery making (mishaps needn't be so costly!). As mentioned above, in the Victorian era, malachite was often set in gold. These days malachite is less highly thought of, and so is usually found in cheaper jewellery. But it's perfect for beads, pendants and earrings, and because it isn't so expensive, any jewellery piece that may require a larger stone. Malachite beads are easy to find in all sorts of shapes - oval, flat, cross, tear, triangle, abacus - you name it. You may also see a few malachite cabochons available, as well as slabs of malachite, which is nice to use for inlay, or with bigger slabs, perfect to carve for more ornamental work. Malachite is fairly soft and therefore reasonably easy to shape or carve.

Malachite Occurrences and Origins

Malachite can be found in almost any location where copper can be found. But in particular, the largest source of malachite is Zaire. Other chief sources include USA, Australia, Russia, Canada and Namibia.

Malachite Beads