Malachite Jewelry


Malachite jewelry was worn as early as 4000 B.C. by the Egyptians. It's name comes from the Greek word malakhe meaning mallow, a reference to its color which is commonly light to dark green with darker or lighter banding. These bands offer much interest to the mineral when used in malachite jewelry, though it has also been used in much larger forms and is soft enough to actually turn on a lathe.

Malachite jewelry can be made using cabochons, beads and faceted stones. Faceted specimens are not very common, however, because they are too opaque when cut larger than carat. Aside from jewelry, malachite is frequently used in other objects to enhance their beauty.

Moh's scale of hardness finds malachite to be 3.5-4. Because of this low rating, malachite jewelry should be worn with care and should only be cleaned using a soft polishing cloth. Gem cleaner and steam cleaning is not recommended.

 


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