The Use Of Malachite In Jewelry
Malachite is a semi-precious stone that is primarily sourced from copper ore deposits. Though softer than most gemstones, it is often set in jewelry due to its attractive green hue and striking vein patterns. Malachite was first used by the ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks to adorn the body. It was believed to protect wearers from the dangers of the evil eye. Evidence exists of its usage as far back as 4000 BC.
Malachite has become quite rare, with new stocks not entering the market so often. The primary deposits were believed to be in the Ural Mountains in Russia, but these have now been seriously depleted. The most famous specimens are perhaps those found in the Winter Palace of the old Russian Tzars. This magnificent building features a room which has been entirely decorated with malachite, including columns, vases, trimming, and pilasters.
Today, most malachite is sourced from Australia, Chile, and Zaire, with smaller deposits found in Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Israel, France, the US, and the UK. As with all gemstones, quality does vary, those specimens with the most color variations usually command the highest price. When buying malachite, or jewelry that features this stone, it is important to be aware of current market rates. The country of origin does impact on price.
The most beautiful and expensive examples of this mineral are typically those that feature combinations with other gemstones. For example, there are deposits of malachite that are embedded with azurite, chrysocolla, and cuprite. The finishing is also a factor which impacts on the beauty and price, as does size and shape.
Due to its softness, malachite is more fragile than other gemstones. When buying pendants and necklaces that feature this stone, it is important to protect from sharp blows and scratches. A resin can be applied to minimize the risk of damage. To preserve the stone’s luster, large temperature ranges should be avoided. What’s more, chemical based cleaners should be avoided. When setting or repairing malachite jewelry, be wary of using excessive heat as this can also result in damage.
If planning to purchase wholesale jewelry that features malachite, it is important to know that the stones are authentic. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to identify the real stones from cheap imitations. Malachite remains popular today with people from all walks of life. It’s relatively low price and innate beauty make it one of the most interesting gemstones that is used in jewelry.
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