The Mineral Malachite
malachite picture


malachite mineral picture

Malachite is a hydroxide mineral of copper carbonate that is green banded and opaque and uses the monoclinic system to crystallize. It mostly forms stalagmitic masses or botryoidal, fibrous blocks, appearing in spaces and fractures that exit where chemical precipitation takes place due to the hydrothermal fluids and the water table deep underground.  It is difficult to find individual crystals, but you can sometimes find thin/acicular prisms. Sometimes you are also privy to Pseudomorps   of tabular/blocks of Azurite crystals. 

Chemical Formula  
Cu2CO3 (OH) 2

Derivation of Name  
The stone derives its name from (Latin: molochītis, Middle English melochites and Middle French: melochite) and from Greek Μολοχίτης λίθος “molochitis lithos,” or “mallow-green stone". It was so named due its close semblance to the leaves of the Mallow plant.

Malachite is generally formed as a result of weathering of copper ores and frequently found together with Azurite (Cu3 (CO3) 2 (OH) 2), Calcite and Goethite. But for its lively green color, malachite has properties akin to Azurite and aggregates of the two minerals are found recurrently. Malachite is more widespread than Azurite and is characteristically associated with copper deposits found next to limestone.

malachite mineral

malachite mineral picture

Malachite forms a popular part of jewelry, particularly Native American Southwestern jewelry. The inlay of stones in silver makes a pleasant variation from the conventional turquoise jewelry. The two green stones befittingly complement each other on being laid together in a single setting. Other stones like Coral, Azurite, Mother-Of-Pearl, Onyx and Jasper used in the normally handmade jewelry also compliment green colors of this stone.

Huge quantities of Malachite have been mined in the Urals, Russia. Though Ural malachite is not being mined at present, there are reports of the likely unearthing of new deposits of Malachite in the Urals. It is found all over the world, including the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tsumeb, Namibia; Gabon; Zambia; Mexico; New South Wales; Broken Hill,  Timna Valley, Israel; Lyon, France and the Southwestern United States, most particularly in Arizona.

Malachite has an impostor known as pseudomalachite, which is a phosphate of copper having an immense crystal habit and color that are especially comparable to malachite's habit and color, though the structure of the two minerals is different. In Latin Pseudomalachite implies "false malachite" and is especially uncommon compared to Malachite.  It repeatedly pseudomorphs with Azurite, its intimately associated mineral.

Color variation is from bright green to dark green or blackish green, normally banded in masses and green to yellowish green in transmitted light

4 g/cm3

Mohs scale hardness    

Malachite Mineral Mineral Malachite Malachite Picture
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