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 a chakra stone or ornamental stone today. Rather than using malachite as a talisman or as jewelry, ancient Egyptians 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.
Malachite’s use as pigment held significant cultural meaning as it represented life and renewal. This is particularly important to note because Egyptians painted their coffins with malachite pigment. This pigment symbolized a connection to Osirus, 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, malachite’s use as a pigment remained. During the Middle Ages, many painters continued to use 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. 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. Most of the malachite we buy today comes from ore veins in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Australia, France, and in Bisbee, Arizona.
One of malachite’s most striking features is its color variations. Colors range from light 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 and stagnant energy, helping to improve 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 life, 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 malachite's healing properties can help is with clearing electromagnetic pollution and radiation in the environment. Malachite's ability to absorb energy makes it especially effective for this, making it useful in an office or if you spend a lot of your day surrounded by technology. A great way to get started with keeping your space safe is to wear a malachite pendant.
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 chakra, and its spirals and ripples of color almost appear to be in motion, hinting at malachite’s ability to clear energy blockages.
Whether you’re looking for emotional healing, severing unwanted ties, or simply want to keep the energy moving freely in this chakra, 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.
If you need a boost of creativity for work or a project, look to malachite's unique patterns 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 malachite’s metaphysical properties 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.
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 bringing more abundance and prosperity into your life. 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 pay raise at work. Picking up a malachite talisman could be just what you need to tip the balances in your favor.
Be sure to cleanse your gemstones regularly, as your malachite will work best when it has fresh energy to work with.
Use Malachite to Enrich Your Life
Malachite’s history as a crystal healing stone 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. It’s truly a stone of transformation if you’re willing to work with it.