Mineral Class: Carbonate
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Hardness: 3.5 - 4
Luster: Vitreous to Silky
Diaphaneity: Translucent to Opaque
Colors: Various Shades of Green, Black
Source: Australia, Chile, Congo, France, Germany, Middle East, Romania, Russia, USA, Zaire, and Zambia
Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with the formula Cu2CO3(OH)2. It is an opaque green banded mineral often formed where the water table and hydrothermal fluids provide for chemical precipitation. It occurs abundantly in the upper oxidized portions of veins and other deposits of copper ore, where it is associated with azurite, cuprite, native copper, limonite and the various sulfides of iron and copper.
Malachite gets its name from the latin, and ancient greek, meaning mallow-green stone. Given this name due to its resemblance to the leaves of the mallow plant. Malachite was mined exclusively at Britain’s Great Orme Mines in 3800 BC. Archaeological evidence shows mining activity ended only in 600 BC.