I fell in love with Malachite a few months ago: its vivid green colour and its deep lines makes it extremely alluring for me. I wanted to learn more about it, so a trip to the library ended with me bringing back 6 different books on gemstones, one with stories, incredible stories from long ago.
Malachite gets its name from Greek (like half of the gemstones, probably), from the word 'moloche', which means mallow, having the colour of mallow leaves. It has been used by Greeks and Romans mostly as a decor material: they built sculptures and vases, as well as decorate floors and walls with Malachite. During the Bronze Age Malachite has been crushed into powder and used as a green pigment in paints, eye make-up (which has been invented by Egyptians over 5,000 years ago!), glazes and dyes for glass. The Russian Czars used it for decor, sculptures, as well as in jewelry. Faberge, the well-known jeweler of the Russian Court, created exquisite pieces (miniatures, his amazing Imperial eggs, the gorgeous boxes) using Malachite and many other gemstones.
It is one of the most important minerals in mankind history: as a ore of copper, our ancestors discovered that heating malachite will reduce it to copper. From this discovery was born the metallurgy: people would mine, melt, and forge metals.
Today Malachite is used primarily as a gemstone, in jewelry and ornaments - the large deposits from the Ural mountains (Russia) are close to becoming depleted, and the gemstone is becoming more rare (thus more pricey).
From antiquity people believed malachite is a precious talisman for the protection of children, and for protection against all evil. It also appears in the Bible: along with the stones assigned to each one of the 12 tribes of Israel, temples were promised to be built and decorated with Malachite and other precious stones. In the Middle Ages it was used extensively as a decor stone: the floor of San Marco Cathedral, in Venice has been decorated (by artisans that worked over 500 years) with mosaics made of lapis lazuli, malachite, and other gemstones.
Malachite is known as 'the mirror of the soul' and its powers are said to help recovery from physical or emotional illness. It is believed it will help the wearer find the cause of his/her fears and resentments, and to release negative emotions. A very useful stone, Malachite is said to protect the wearer against accidents, thus it is called 'the traveler stone'. With its ability to protect against all evil, it is also used to promote success in business.
Even if you don't believe in its properties - Malachite is a beautiful stone to wear and to admire!