Have you ever seen green colored stone on bracelets or necklaces? This dark green fabulous stone is malachite. In the olden times, malachite ore was used to extract copper. Malachite stone sometimes known as malachite green because of its green color has numerous valuable properties. Today this precious stone is used to make sculptures and jewelry beads. Its use in the laboratory is frequent as a staining (coloring) agent. Its color can not be easily removed or faded. Once your hand comes in contact with this stain, it unfastens in 2-3 days. In this article, we will discuss malachite in great detail.
What is Malachite?
The opaque green malachite is a mineral which is chemically known as copper carbonate hydroxide Cu₂CO₃(OH)₂. We also know it as green copper or green malachite. The term malachite means mallow green stone because its shape resembles a mallow plant that’s why its discoverer suggests the name malachite. You find it in the form of stone from deep down in the earth. It is formed by the weathering (breakdown) of carbon ore. The malachite stone contains dark green bands or rarely light green streaks over bright green surfaces. This mineral is hard and contains 57.48% copper Cu in the purest form, but now it is not used for carbon extraction.
Where is Malachite found?
Its largest reservoir is found in Russia and some regions of Urals. It also occurs in Gabon, Australia, Congo, Mexico, Tsumeb, Southwestern United States, Israel, Zambia, and Namibia. It occurs deep down the earth’s crust, and it takes different forms like botryoidal, fibrous, and stalagmitic in the underground spaces.
Many countries are using crushed malachite as pigment or dyes for thousands of years. In ancient times, 3,800 years ago, Britain used bone tools to extract this mineral. From this extensive mining, 1,760 tonnes of copper was obtained, and this was the copious mining of that year. In 4000 BC, it was extracted from the region between Sinai and Suez (Egypt). The Egyptians use this mineral for sculpting and carving ornament, and they also wore malachite jewelry.
Malachite color and shape
You can see different shades of green color in this precious mineral that includes:
- Bright green
- Dark green
- Black green and
- Bright green with light green bands
Malachite is rarely found in the form of crystal. These two forms of crystals are:
Does malachite have some toxic effect?
Besides its uses, malachite has some toxic effects if the person remains exposed to it for long. Malachite toxigenicity includes carcinogenesis (formation of cancer), mutagenesis, organ damage, and tissue injury. According to a study, the health hazards of malachite green include:
- Its exposure causes changes in the functioning of the kidney.
- By the exposure of malachite green growth and fertility rate also decrease.
- It damages the liver, heart, and spleen.
- Lesions may also produce on the eye and skin because of their exposure.
- Malachite toxicity may cause some developmental abnormalities.
- It may cause liver and thyroid cancer.
Although it has many side effects, these may occur by the intake of green copper or very long exposure to concentrated malachite mineral at a specific temperature. No side effects were reported in human beings until now. All the above stated malachite toxicity was observed in mammals during research studies.
Uses of Malachite
The area of malachite usage is diverse. From aquaculture to chemical laboratories and from the textile industry to jewel makers, everyone is using this precious mineral stone. Few uses of malachite are as under:
Malachite as a parasiticide and antifungal agent
To form malachite green (dye) industries mix different chemicals with malachite powder. It is extensively used in aquaculture to cure fishes of parasitic, bacterial, and fungal infection. A study reported that malachite green is the most effective compound to treat saprolegniasis in salmon.
Malachite as dye or staining agent
Malachite is a basic compound, used in textile industries as a dye. Chemical and microbiological laboratories use it extensively as a staining agent. This pigmented compound gives color to the spore of bacteria and is used for identifying endospores. This dye is environmentally unfriendly, so the effluent of the industries that use this dye should discharge their waste after treatment. Malachite is crushed into a fine green color powder and is employed as a pigment. Its color does not fade for long, even when it remains exposed to light. For that reason, malachite painted ornaments are durable. In Mexico City, there is a museum in which a malachite room is present. Constructors make the door of this room from malachite. This green pigment is used to paint decorative vases, and in olden times Egyptians use it to carve in their tomb.
Malachite as gemstone
Raw Malachite is an opaque mineral with a dull appearance. After polishing, this gemstone gives vitreous luster, which is why it is used in jewelry items. It is cut into slices or cabochon (flat from one side while convex from the other) to be used in jewelry. Polished malachite beads are also used to make beautiful jewelry items. Jewel also chose different hybrids of malachite for making bracelets and rings. Malachite is a soft gemstone, so the jewelry made from this mineral is not durable. The base of the FIFA world cup is also made from this mineral. Some other gem minerals that are the hybrid of malachite are azurite, turquoise, and opal.
Benefits of malachite on human health
Malachite is not only a stone but also you can also use this mineral to absorb negative energies. Apart from its use in industries, laboratories, and jewelry, you can also use it as a mental, emotional, and physical healer.
Does malachite have physical healing properties?
If you are suffering from a bone fracture (bone breakage), or there is any problem with the joint this stone will give you relief. It has the property to heal your bones quickly and recovers the overstretched or torn muscles. The clammy color of Malachite stone also helps in lower blood pressure. It has a notable property of treating female problems. It maintains the flow of the menstrual cycle, ease cramping during menstruation. Due to this beneficial property, we also know malachite mineral as Midwife stone. Malachite is a diuretic stone that increases urine production. This property may help you treat kidney stones.
Does malachite have mental healing properties?
Along with physical healing properties, this stone also has some mental healing properties. It helps in treating Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Malachite also releases all your depression and anxiety. It absorbs negative energies and many harmful radiations. As stated above, malachite has some toxic effects, so use it sensibly. If you are using this stone for healing, then do follow these steps:
- Avoid putting this stone in your mouth. It may cause lesions in the mouth.
- If you are wearing this stone, wrap it in a cloth.
Malachite stone is a gemstone (semi-precious or precious). Its uses and beneficial effects are innumerable. It has many names like Midwife or stone of transformation due to its astonishing health benefits. The use of synthetic malachite in industries, laboratories, and making jewelry is very diverse. It is necessary to use it with precaution because it may cause serious health problems.
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