Malachite is the 3rd rock in my collection. It is pronounced “mel- a- kite”. This rock has green color from very dark to very light and black streaks. This is the first rock I’ve listed that was down low on the hardness scale. It ranks a 3.5 to 4. The chemical code for Malachite is Cu2Co3(OH)2. The green comes from copper that is in the semi-precious gem stone. Malachite is a semi-precious stone and that means that it is not as rare as something like a jasper, or as popular as a diamond.
Malachite is soft and can be damaged by scraping it or hitting it hard. It can also get ‘burnt’ if it is heated. That will mess up the color inside the gemstone. Even washing it can make it lose its protective coating.
The name ‘malachite’ may come from two different words. One theory is that is comes from a Greek word, “malakos” that means ‘soft’. It could also come from the Greek word, “malhe” which means “Grass”.
In ancient times, the Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks, used Malachite for eye shadow in their make up. They also made jewelery out of it. Even in ancient times, Malachite was worn as necklaces or other jewelery on babies and children to ward off evil. That continues today. Malachite is the rock for the children. It is said to keep children safe from accidents and illness. Some people hang this rock from their baby’s beds. The parents sometimes hang malachite in the child’s bedroom to ward off bad dreams.
Today, this rock is used near computers and other electronics to stop problems with electromagnetic fields.
Some interesting facts I learned about Malachite:
It is soft and can be damaged.
The most important mine for Malachite is in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It can also be found in Ural, Siberia, France, South Australia, Namibia, and Arizona.
*I just learned that the Democratic Republic of Congo used to be called Zaire.
The Malachite is the stone of the 13th year of marriage. It is not a birthstone.
My last interesting fact that I learned about Malachite (other than how to spell it) is that there is a Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, called the Hermitage Palace Museum that has a room that is made nearly 100% of Malachite. The room is called, “The Malachite Room”!