Gemstones and crystals are valuable resources. They’re not only beautiful but they can be shaped into a variety of practical and useful everyday items. They can be formed and shaped into earrings, necklace pendants, marbles, buttons, and the list goes on. While there are a variety of crystals available around the world, malachite is quickly becoming one of the better well-known.
It not only holds unique properties and beauty that is unobtained with other available gemstones, but it is also easily imitated. Therefore, if you plan on buying or investing, you need to learn how to confirm authenticity.
What Exactly Is Malachite?
The first thing you need to know is that malachite is a copper carbonate mineral that develops naturally over time in caves and caverns. You’ve probably seen some form of it hanging from the inside of a cave, like a modern icicle. You likely just didn’t know what it was at the time. It usually develops in places where air, salt, and water mix. In some regions of the world, malachite can found in a crystal form on the ground. Once it is mined, it is then polished, and buffed .
While the exact origin of the green crystal is unknown, it has been suggested that the term malachite comes from the Greek work malache or malakee. These terms are used to describe the leaves of the common mallow bush, probably due to the plant’s intense green color.
Malachite can also form as a patina on various metals.
Take for example the Statue of Liberty. Although the statue is made out of copper, which usually boasts a dark golden tone, due to oxidation, the copper has developed several patinas, one of which being malachite. These patinas are the source of the statue’s iconic green color.
How Can You Tell If It’s Real Malachite?
When malachite is faked it is usually done so synthetically. Therefore, it can be produced at a lower cost. This should be one of your biggest identifiers, the price. Any honest dealer is going to charge less for imitation or reconstituted malachite. Unfortunately, not every dealer is honest, so, when you come across malachite that is priced right, but you are still unsure of the authenticity, you’ll have to examine the stone itself.
If you are shopping online this can bring about a whole host of problems, but an authentic dealer should be more than willing to provide pictures and a satisfaction guarantee along with their products.
That being said, real malachite isn’t exactly what you would call uniform in appearance. Take especially close note of the patterns and colors of the stone. You should see a whole mess of swirls, waves, circles, and stripes within the surfaces.
Another thing to note is, fake malachite usually is done so with stripes because they are the easiest and quickest to recreate.
The color will be another big identifier. Natural malachite will give off softer greens and change throughout the surface. As you scan your eyes over the surface of the stone, you should see various soft greens, which will eventually change to what looks like black greens.
Synthetic stone is much harsher in color and will gleam when placed under light.