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Malachite

This is the first stone I have been attracted to recently. It is a beautiful green. I really love the flow and colour of these crystals. The stone I currently have is basically a tumbled stone with traces of Chrysocolla (I will do my next blog entry on this) in between, it was sourced from the Congo in Africa. It almost looks like the stones shown in the next picture.

Tumbled Malachite

Malachite is a carbonate mineral, copper (2) carbonate hydroxide : Cu2CO3(OH)2. Malachite often results from weathering of copper ores. The stone’s name derives (via Latin and French) from Greek molochitis, “mallow-green stone”, from molochē, variant of malachē, “mallow”.

Malachite

Malachite was used as a mineral pigment in green paints from antiquity until about 1800. The pigment is moderately lightfast, very sensitive to acids and varying in colour. It is also used for decorative purposes, such as in the Malachite Room in the Hermitage museum, which features a huge malachite vase (see picture below).

Malachite Vase

 

Large quantities of malachite have been mined in the Ural mountains (a mountain range that runs roughly north and south through western Russia). It is found in the Democratic Republic of Congo; Tsumeb, Namibia; Ural mountains, Russia; Mexico; Broken Hill, New South Wales; England; Lyon; and in the Southwestern United States especially in Arizona at Bisbee and Morenci.

In Israel, malachite is extensively mined at Timna, often called King Solomon’s Mines. Archeological evidence indicates that the mineral has been mined and smelted at the site for over 3,000 years. Most of Timna’s current production is also smelted, but the finest pieces are worked into silver jewelry.

Malachite

Malachite include such stunningly colorful minerals as dark blue azurite, sparkling black mottramite, baby blue chrysocolla, or rusty red limonite. Malachite has a mineral impostor called pseudomalachite. Pseudomalachite is a copper phosphate that has a massive crystal habit and color that are very similar to malachite’s habit and color, although the two minerals have different structures. Pseudomalachite means “false malachite” in latin and is very rare compared to malachite.

Malachite is an impostor of its own. It frequently pseudomorphs the closely associated mineral azurite. A pseudomorph is a mineral specimen where the original mineral has been chemically replaced by another mineral, but the outward appearance is still retained. Pseudomorph means “false shape” in latin. The transformation is fascinating and sometimes leaves a nearly perfect azurite crystal shape that is actually malachite.

Malachite

According to Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible Malachite is :

  • It is toxic and should only be used in its polished form (Avoid breathing its dust)
  • It amplifies both positive and negative energies
  • Important protection stone
  • Absorbs negative energies and pollutants
  • It should be cleansed by placing it on a quartz cluster in the sun (don’t use salt as it will damage the surface)
  • It guards against all kinds of radiation
  • Clears and activates the chakras and attunes to spiritual guidance (placed on the third eye it activates visualization and psychic vision, on the heart it brings balance and harmony, on the solar plexus it facilitates deep emotional healing)
  • Versatile healing stone – it aligns DNA and cellular structure and enhances the immune system
  • Can be used for scrying or to access other inner and outer worlds
  • Combined with Chrysocolla (such as mine) it will have a very high healing vibration. It symbolizes wholeness and peace and can gently restore equilibrium if placed on an area of imbalance. If one stone is placed on the third eye and another on the solar plexus then mind, body and emotions are balanced.

Another interesting site is this one that claims to have found human bones that are made from Malachite. It is generally considered a hoax though as photos are all the evidence that has so far came to light.
You can read more at : Wikipedia, Mineral Galleries and Mindat

Iron Pyrite

Pyrite

This is the first crystal that has fascinated me. It is also known as Fool’s Gold due to many miners thinking it is the real thing. What makes is even more interesting is that this crystal is very common. When I first saw it I thought it was manufactured like that, but apparently it is not. It comes in raw form like that. We are used to people manufacturing perfect angles so to see mother nature manufacture something like this is nothing short of amazing. The crystal I bought is very much like the one above and it comes from Spain. My son (8 years old) also liked Pyrite although he didn’t know it – his was sculpted and looked more like the picture below (from Peru).

Pyrite

Pyrite consists of FeS2, one iron element and 2 sulfur. The name Pyrite is from the Greek word πυρά (pura) meaning “fire”. Pyrite is used commercially for the production of sulfur dioxide, for use in such applications as the paper industry, and in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, though such applications are declining in importance. It is also used for costume jewelry. Pyrite is often confused with the mineral Marcasite, a name derived from the Arabic word for Pyrite, due to their similar characteristics. Marcasite is a polymorph of Pyrite, which means it has the same formula as pyrite but a different structure and, therefore, different symmetry and crystal shapes.

 

Bravoite is a nickel variety of Pyrite but is not a formally recognised mineral, and is named after Peruvian scientist Jose J. Bravo (1874-1928)

 

Although pyrite is common and contains a high percentage of iron, it has never been used as a significant source of iron. Iron oxides such as hematite and magnetite, are the primary iron ores. Pyrite is not as economical as these ores possibly due to their tendency to form larger concentrations of more easily mined material. Pyrite would be a potential source of iron if these ores should become scarce.

 

Pyrite

 

According to Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible Iron Pyrite is :

  • An excellent energy shield – against negative energy and pollutants
  • Helps in business planning and diplomacy
  • Helps men and women who feel inferior (hope it doesn’t reflect on me !)
  • Accelerate mental activity
  • Relieves melancholy
  • etc.

You can read more at : Wikipedia or Web Mineral or Mindat

The Crystal Bible

Well, it looks like I have found a new hobby (as if I don’t have enough things to keep me busy already). Hannelie has been at it a while, but I haven’t really taken a interest in it until this weekend. They say one should get crystals that attract you. Well I don’t know about attraction, but they certainly fascinate me the more I learn about them. Not only do they have different kind of scientific properties but a lot of people believe they have physical and spiritual effects as well. A book I will also be using frequently is : Judy Hall’s The Crystal Bible as pictured above.