How to choose, clean, take care of and buy a jewel with malachite ♦ ︎
If you like green, but you’re also broke, you might be interested in jewelry with malachite. The semi-precious stone, in fact, is very decorative, but also economic. Malachite, however, has a defect. Here’s what.
For gemology, malachite is a green copper carbonate. For jewelry, malachite is often used in the form of pearls for necklaces and bracelets. But there are also those who use it with a cabochon cut for rings. It is often coated with wax or resin to make it shiny. Its typical streaks of darker green can give the jewel charm and, above all, a unique appearance. It was much appreciated by the tsars of Russia, also because the malachite was extracted from the mines of the Urals. Today in the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg there is one of the most extraordinary exhibits of this gem in a room called the Malachite Room.
The defect. Malachite is cheap, is found in large quantities, but has a weak point: it is quite soft. In the scale of hardness, which sees at the top the diamond at an altitude of 10, the malachite is content with a score of 3.5. And it is also the reason why setting and engraving is very simple. In fact, with malachite, in addition to jewels, plates, knick-knacks, even vases are made.
How to choose it. If you want to buy a jewel with malachite, pay particular attention to the streaks: the design of the stripes or veins that run through the stone is the aspect that gives value to the jewel. the most appreciated design is that of concentric centers, which form a sort of eye. The stones whitout strips, instead, are not considered interesting.
The name. The malachite name derives from the Greek word which refers to the color of the mallow leaves. But also from the word malakos, which means soft.
Magic powers. There are those who still believe that a stone can have supernatural powers. If you believe it, know that in ancient times (when the average life was very low), the malachite was worn as a healing gem, protection against the evil eye and even given to children to protect them from nightmares. But if by chance you have a cough, it is better to go to the doctor.
Cleaning and care of malachite. The stone is soft, so be careful not to scratch it. Buckles, sharp rings, harder stones or housework can easily scratch malachite. In addition, it is a stone sensitive to heat, acid, ammonia and hot water, to household chemical cleaners. To clean the malachite, simply use soapy water (a little) and a soft cloth. Rinse well, dry in a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaners are not recommended.