Mineral "Malachite & Azurite"


Morocco, private collection from Netherlands.

Malachite is a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It has been used as gemstone and sculptural material for thousands of years and is still popular today. Malachite has green color that does not fade over time or when exposed to light. Those properties, along with its ability to be easily ground to a powder, made malachite a preferred pigment and coloring agent for thousands of years.  It was one of the first ores used to produce copper metal. Malachite is a mineral that forms at shallow depths within the Earth, in the oxidizing zone above copper deposits. It precipitates from descending solutions in fractures, caverns, cavities, and the intergranular spaces of porous rock. It often forms within limestone where a subsurface chemical environment favorable for the formation of carbonate minerals can occur. Associated minerals include azurite, bornite, calcite, chalcopyrite, copper, cuprite, and a variety of iron oxides. Azurite and malachite are known to form in union with each other, for their chemical makeup is very similar. In fact, the presence of more or less water in the location of formation, is enough to determine whether an abundance of malachite over azurite, or vise-versa, will accumulate. The stone's name derives from Greek Μολοχίτης λίθος molochites lithos, "mallow-green stone", from μολόχη molochē, variant of μαλάχη malāchē, "mallow". The mineral was given this name due to its resemblance to the leaves of the mallow plant.

Azurite is a soft, deep-blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. During the early 19th century, it was also known as chessylite, after the type locality at Chessy-les-Mines near Lyon, France. The mineral has been known since ancient times, and was mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Natural History under the Greek name kuanos (κυανός: "deep blue," root of English cyan) and the Latin name caeruleum. Since antiquity, azurite's exceptionally deep and clear blue has been associated with low-humidity desert and winter skies. The modern English name of the mineral reflects this association, since both azurite and azure are derived via Arabic from the Persian lazhward (لاژورد), an area known for its deposits of another deep-blue stone, lapis lazuli ("stone of azure").

Absolutely gorgeous specimen. The deep blue indigo of the azurite crystals have a beautiful, glimmering appearance from every angle. With the fibrous malachite they are creating a beautiful color contrast to the yellowish orange tones of the quartz based matrix. The condition of the sample is excellent. Age-related wear, fractures and minor cracks may appear. Dirt and dust. Size approx. 13,6cm x 6,5cm x 5,0cm. Weight c. 528g.