Ranked as one of the most important mineral discoveries in history, African Malachite is one of nature's wonders. This distinct green stone is a one-of-a-kind treat with its vivid green color and beautiful natural patterns. Used by various ancient cultures and famous structures, this popular stone has been highly pursued for thousands of years.
Malachite's name is derived from the Greek molochitis lithos, meaning "mallow-green stone" or mahle meaning "green mallow plant," after its resemblance to the leaves of the mallow plant. Malachite was used as a mineral pigment in green paints, glazes and glass until the 1800s. African malachite is a semiprecious stone also known as a copper carbonate. This stone is usually found in opaque green masses or bands that alternate light and dark layers with concentric circles. The deep green color is the resultant of copper deposits in the stone. Malachite is a secondary mineral, which means that it is created by a chemical reaction between minerals that have already formed, rather than by a simple one-step process. When water containing carbon dioxide or dissolved carbonate minerals interacts with preexisting copper-containing rocks, or when solutions containing dissolved copper minerals interact with carbonate rocks, malachite may form. When heated, malachite reduces to its native copper. This discovery led to the development of the field of metallurgy. In 1835, a malachite boulder of the highest quality was discovered. It took miners 21 years to unearth and bring the stone to the surface.
LOCATION: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Large malachite deposits can be found throughout the world; however Africa has the finest quality of rough malachite. We are proud to bring you the value and beauty of African malachite.
The richest deposits found are in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mine is located in the Ruashi district of Lubumbashi, the province's capital. Lubumbashi is Congo's second largest town, following Kinshasa. Belgians founded the region in 1910 as a mining settlement, which quickly became the center of the copper belt. Malachite carvers in the Ruashi district irrigate their lapidary machines to keep blades and grinding stones working well. Their houses are easily recognized by the streams of green water seeping out.