The history of Malachite
Malachite, which contains Copper and rates 7.5 on the Mohs scale, derives its name from the Latin word Molochitis due to it looking like the leaves on the mallow plant. Malachite is predominantly found in Russia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Morocco, Broken Hill in Australia, Mexico and the United States of America.
Malachite has been used throughout history to decorate palaces around the world. In Russia you will find the Malachite Room in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg. This room was designed in the 1830s and features Malachite columns and a Malachite fireplace. It also contains furniture and ornaments made out of Malachite such as a huge urn and vases. In Mexico there is another Malachite Room within the Castillo de Chapultepec which boasts impressive solid Malachite doors. I think our next holiday is going to be based on seeing these crystals up close!
Malachite, believed to be a stone of wisdom, was used by many ancient civilisations, with Ancient Greeks and Romans using it for jewellery. In addition, both men and women ground it into powder so they could wear it as an eye shadow and Ancient Pharaohs' headdresses were lined with malachite to provide balance and insight throughout their reign. I bet they wished they knew how toxic it was!
Interestingly, there is archaeological evidence that Malachite was also once mined in Britain and Israel over 3000 years ago. It was mined and smelted so that they could extract the Copper. Similar to Lapis Lazuli, Malachite was also used as a pigment for green paint during the Renaissance period and is believed to be one of the colours used in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting.
Other historical uses of Malachite include parents stringing small pieces of Malachite to children's cots and beds during medieval times. It was believed that this would keep evil away and also help children sleep.
Metaphysical properties of Malachite
Malachite is one of the best stones to use for protection however it can amplify both positive and negative energies.
Malachite is known for developing empathy, easing heartache and letting go of deep resentment and sadness. It can also help you if you fear confrontations, it will allow you to express your feelings whilst still being aware of how the other person is feeling.
As Malachite absorbs lots of energy it needs to be cleansed before and after each use by placing the stone on Selenite or a Quartz cluster such as Amethyst.
Malachite is a toxic stone so care should be taken to only handle it in a polished form (eg polished tumble) and not in its raw state. Likewise, you should never create a crystal elixir with Malachite directly immersed in water.
Other blogs to read
If you'd like to find out more about crystals then have a look at some of our other blogs such as Mineral, Rock, Crystal or What? A Crystal Guide for Beginners or The History of Crystals - Part 2: Australian Rocks.