ABOUT MALACHITE AS USED IN ESTATE JEWELRY AND VINTAGE JEWELRY
Malachite, with its bands of varying shades of green, is beautiful and economical. Malachite has perfect cleavage and very low hardness.
As early as 3000 B.C., malachite was recovered from the copper mines in Egypt and Israel. Malachite was found to have been used for jewelry, amulets and ornaments. It was also found to have been ground into powder and worn as green eye make-up.
ESTATE JEWELRY HISTORY
Malachite is popular with contemporary estate jewelry.
In Italy, it was worn as an amulet against the evil eye.
Malachite seldom occurs in visible crystals, but is usually massive or fibrous. The massive variety which is banded into green hues is considered the most attractive for jewelry. Malachite, copper carbonate, is always green because copper causes the color and is intrinsic to the mineral.
Zaire is the major producer of malachite. It is also found in Russia, Zambia, Namibia, Arizona, New Mexico and Australia.
ESTATE JEWELRY AND VINTGE JEWELRY CARE INSTRUCTIONS
Never clean malachite with an ultrasonic cleaner. Malachite is sensitive to heat, acids and ammonia. To clean, wipe with lukewarm soapy water and rinse.
Often cut into cabochon, beads, carvings and inlaid work.
Refractive Index 1.85
Specific Gravity: 3.6 - 4.1
Hardness: 3.5 - 4.5
With a hardness of 3.5 to 4.5, on the Mohs' Scale, malachite has a very low hardness and is therefore easy to break or scratch. Malachite is sometimes impregnated with wax or epoxy to improve the polish and hide small cracks.