With its vibrant ribbons of emerald cutting through swaths of dark green banding, malachite is a stunning gemstone that's sure to catch your eye.
Malachite has been valued since antiquity, and for good reason. Its healing properties are believed to attract prosperity, open the heart chakra, and act as a protection stone.
With this guide, you'll learn about Malachite's storied history, where it comes from, and its multifaceted healing properties. You'll also discover how this natural wonder can work in your life.
Malachite Throughout History
Malachite has been a prized gemstone for thousands of years. According to Athena Perrakis' book, “Crystal: Lore, Legends & Myths,” Ancient Egyptians cherished Malachite for its healing properties. Its name, Malachite, is derived from the Greek word “malakos,” meaning soft. There might even be a connection to Malachite in Greek mythology and the origin story of the peacock.
When Zeus became enamored with a priestess in service to his wife Hera, she turned that priestess, Io, into a cow. Argus, the hundred-eyed giant, was charged with guarding her until Hermes killed him. Afterward, Hera is said to have given Argus's eyes to the peacock so they could continue to keep watch. A peacock not only shares similar colors with Malachite, but some of the gemstone's patterns resemble an eye.
Egyptians frequently used Malachite in their culture, but a little differently from how we use it as an ornamental stone today. Rather than using Malachite as a talisman or as jewelry, the people of the Nile would grind up the stone's crystals into a fine pigment for painting. It would adorn papyrus scrolls and add lustrous color to artwork and murals.
The use of Malachite as pigment held significant cultural meaning as it represented life and renewal. This is particularly important to note because the people of the time painted their coffins with Malachite pigment. This pigment symbolized a connection to Osiris, the god of the underworld, as well as vegetation and fertility. What's more, the properties of Malachite would ensure someone's safe passage into the afterlife, assuring their rebirth.
Harnessing the stone's energetic properties wasn't just for homes, temples, and funeral ceremonies. Egyptians would also use the pigment produced from Malachite gemstones to create vivid eyeshadows and eyeliner.
As time passed, people continued to use Malachite as pigment. During the Middle Ages, many painters used ground Malachite crystals to create richly pigmented shades of green for their artwork.
What Is Malachite?
From a geology standpoint, Malachite is a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with the chemical formula Cu2CO3(OH)2. Other copper carbonate minerals similar to Malachite include calcite, chalcopyrite, and cuprite. Even though it was once mined for its copper content, it's far more favored today for its beauty as a gemstone.
Unlike some gemstones that form deep in the recesses of the earth, Malachite takes shape closer to the surface, in the caverns and hollows of porous rocks, and its deposits are widespread. The earliest excavations took place in Egypt with copper deposits near the Red Sea more than 4,000 years ago.
Since then, other natural deposits in the Ural Mountains of Russia have been mined to near depletion. There's a stunning Malachite vase in the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg that shows the way some of this Malachite has been crafted over the years.
Most of the Malachite we buy today comes from ore veins in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Australia, France, and in Bisbee, Arizona. Mines near Kalwezi, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, provide most of the polishing-grade Malachite in the world.
One of this gemstone's most striking features is its color variations. Colors range from bright green to dark green and everything in between. These verdant hues are usually banded or feature concentric circles and distinctive patterning when it's cut (similar to agate). When polished, it produces a glossy luster.
Malachite is beautiful on its own, but occasionally, when Malachite is forming, other copper carbonate minerals like azurite crystals, chrysocolla, and turquoise, create inclusions. Once these are cut and polished, dazzling blue and green patterns reveal themselves.
Because of its distinctive beauty, Malachite gemstones are often cut into cabochons for jewelry and used for carvings or sculptures.
Malachite and Its Healing Properties
Malachite's healing properties are unique in their diversity, and its energy can be channeled into a variety of situations. It's especially useful to clear blockages, improving well-being and vitality.
If you're looking for energy renewal in your life, Malachite healing crystals can help usher in the change you're looking for. Think of its lush appearance — let it remind you of springtime and new beginnings, and how you can use it to bring fresh energy where you need it.
Malachite can also help if you're in an emotionally charged situation, like dealing with a major frustration at work or at home, and you need to feel calm right away. Its tranquil green color is soothing and might help bring your blood pressure down a notch when you need it.
Another area where the metaphysical properties of this gem can help is with clearing electromagnetic pollution and radiation in the environment. Malachite's ability to absorb energy makes it especially effective for this. If you spend a lot of your day surrounded by technology then this crystal is ideal. A great way to get started with keeping your space safe is to wear a Malachite necklace.
Because of its vibrant green color and swirling patterns, Malachite stones are especially supportive of the heart, or Anahata chakra. Green is commonly associated with the heart, and its spirals and ripples of color almost appear to be in motion, hinting at its ability to clear energy blockages.
Whether you're looking for emotional healing, severing unwanted ties, or simply want to keep your energy moving freely, call upon Malachite for its exceptional healing energy. Use this green stone to keep your heart chakra clear and open to love in all forms.
Malachite provides support for the immune system, empowering you to heal the physical body as well as clear negative thought patterns. To make the most of these benefits, it's advised to use the crystal in jewelry. With a bracelet, you can incorporate Malachite into your meditation routine and count the beads as you go, focusing on their green light and ethereal power. It's definitely one of the gemstones you want close by if you're suffering from a cold or flu, or anything else where you wish your immune system could have a little boost.
If you need a jolt of creativity for work or a project, look to the unique patterns of Malachite to give you a dose of inspiration. It can help you to think outside the box or see a different perspective while you're problem-solving.
You can also use this crystal as a protection stone. Its unique banding and striations create the appearance of an eye — remember Hera and the eyes of Argus keeping watch? Many people use this striking gemstone to ward off the evil eye and dispel negative energy. It helps to strengthen your connection with mother earth.
Malachite's powers as a protection stone extend to traveling too. Consider taking an amulet or wearing a chakra bracelet with Malachite beads to help you feel safe as you go about your day. You might even feel confident enough to take on some healthy risk-taking, like booking yourself a solo trip to a dream destination.
Lastly, Malachite is a beautiful gemstone to work with if you're focused on attracting more abundance and prosperity. Take a hint from its color if you want to channel some wealth into your bank account. Maybe you're starting a new business, or asking for a raise at work. Picking up a Malachite talisman could be just what you need to tip the odds in your favor.
Be sure to cleanse your gemstones regularly, as your Malachite will work best when it has fresh energy to work with.
Is Wearing Malachite Dangerous?
There is danger involved when mining raw Malachite. Due to its high copper content (approximately 57%), the Malachite stone is considered toxic and protective equipment must be worn to mine, cut or hand-polish the mineral.
However, it's definitely safe to wear. Once the Malachite has been processed and is in its rough or polished form, it becomes perfectly safe. Just as you handle copper in coins and pipes, Malachite is only dangerous when it's still in the earth in ore form.
Is Malachite Toxic to Humans?
While it's safe to wear, Malachite should never be used to create crystal elixirs. Malachite is soft and soluble which means it will dissolve in water. When copper carbonate minerals dissolve, their toxic properties return and if you are using this water to drink then it can make you seriously ill.
For the same reason, Malachite shouldn't be used in the bath. The physical material is fairly brittle and the chemical reaction with water will cause it to break down quickly. However, this is not something to worry about ordinarily. The beads of your jewelry will not dissolve in the rain, for example. It's not that brittle!
Can You Wear Malachite Every Day?
As mentioned above, the Malachite stone is completely safe to wear every day. This applies to both the stone and jewelry. You could even have multiple Malachite pieces and use them all every day at no detriment to your health or to the abilities of the stone.
It's a good idea to cleanse your Malachite regularly so that the stone has the opportunity to let go of any negativity. Depending on how frequently you use it, this could be done once per week or once per month.
Use Malachite to Enrich Your Life
The history of Malachite is a long one that stretches back to the times of Ancient Egypt. For thousands of years, people have used it to beautify themselves and their surroundings, provide courage and protection, support emotional balance and healing, and even amplify their success and prosperity.
Don't forget — you can always combine Malachite with other chakra stones to more deeply address specific issues you'd like to work through. Whether you decide to use Malachite daily or call upon this lovely green stone as needed, you'll be sure to feel its grounding energy each time. Add it to your collection; it's truly a stone of transformation if you're willing to work with it.