all about malachite

all about malachite

  • Heart chakra 
  • Stone of transformation
  • 3.5-4 hardness level
  • Emotional healing & protection
  • Courage, wealth, wisdom



Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with a hardness level of 3.5-4 out of 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale. This means it is pretty soft, and can be scratched easily. 

Malachite forms in a couple different ways, it can be fibrous, botryoidal or form in stalactites. It is very rare for malachite to form large, individual crystals. 

Malachite forms at shallow depths within the earth, in the oxidizing zone above copper deposits. As copper ore weathers, it mixes with other elements, eventually forming into a variety of minerals such as malachite and azurite.

Malachite has been used as a copper ore in the past, however it isn’t used very often today as it is found in too small of quantities to be a significant ore. It can be an indicator of more significant copper ores in the area. 



Malachite is very often found with azurite or chrysocolla, two other copper minerals formed in the same way. Here is an example of an amazing museum quality piece of malachite and chrysocolla that I saw at the Tucson gem show! This might be my favorite crystal I’ve ever seen. 

Safety & care

A big concern when it comes to malachite is safety, and there seems to be a lot of mixed opinions about it. Many people say it’s extremely toxic and should never be put in water, and you should wash your hands after even touching it. While other people show themselves rinsing malachite with no concern. 

Is malachite water safe? 

Malachite can definitely be dangerous due to its copper content, but it doesn’t pose a serious risk to you just by touching it or keeping it in your collection. Even getting malachite wet for a short period of time is okay, you do not need to worry about being poisoned. There are no toxic fumes released when malachite becomes wet, there is just the chance of copper being released into the water. Malachite can pose a health risk if you inhale malachite dust through carving or polishing the stone, but the same could be said for any other crystal. You should always take proper precautions when doing lapidary work. Especially with polished malachite, nothing is going to happen to you just by touching it. Even with raw pieces of malachite it isn’t going to hurt you just by picking it up, though washing your hands afterwards doesn’t hurt if you are concerned. Rinsing your malachite in water is more likely to damage your stone because of its low hardness than it is to cause you any harm. One thing to consider however when getting malachite wet is the pH of the water, as different pH levels can affect the stone differently. Acidic water with a low pH can cause copper to leach from the stone more readily, making it more harmful to come into contact with.

Although malachite is safe to touch and even rinse, I of course would NEVER recommend drinking water that has had malachite in it, or any stone for that matter. Another concern is malachite jewelry, with many people saying it is unsafe to wear against your skin. Polished malachite jewelry does not pose any risk and is safe to wear. However if you are concerned, I would avoid showering with it on or getting the stone wet while wearing. 

Malachite is safe in the sun for short periods of time, but can become dark or even black with prolonged exposure to heat. 

The safest option for cleansing malachite energetically would be by using smoke or selenite. 



The majority of malachite on the market today is mined in Africa, though it is found in smaller deposits around the world. These other locations include China, Arizona, Australia, and Mexico.  Malachite has previously been mined in Russia, but that is less common on the market today because these deposits have been depleted. 




You may be surprised to know that a lot of malachite on the market has been repaired! This is especially prevalent in pieces that are elaborately carved, such as animal carvings. This type of repair done to a stone is rarely disclosed by sellers, and I think it’s because many people don’t even notice it and it's extremely common. This type of repair is called reconstitution, where leftover bits of material are mixed with dye and resin to fill in gaps where the stone had been broken or naturally had an imperfection. This is an extremely common practice with softer stones such as malachite that are more difficult to carve and shape. 

So how can you spot repaired malachite, or repairs on any stone? Reconstituted pieces stand out as random spots that disrupt the natural texture of a crystal. For malachite, there may be one big splotch in the middle of what should be banding. Small cracks and holes in a stone are filled with resin and ground up powder just to fill space. You may see big chunks of the crystal pieced together and sealed in with resin. These spots stand out because they are totally disconnected from the natural patterning. Touching the surface, you may be able to feel rough spots around where the repairs are. These spots may even stick out farther than the natural stone, making the surface bumpy. 



Examples of reconstitution within malachite

A natural piece of malachite with no repairs done. Because of the way malachite forms, it is almost always naturally going to have some cracks and gaps. 


Malachite with reconstituted pieces is so common that it’s hard to avoid when buying malachite that has been carved and shaped. It's common to see repaired pieces at the same price point as completely untouched pieces, so it's hard to tell if a piece has been altered or not without being able to see it up close in person. Pieces with multiple or large repairs, however, should be considerably discounted and will most likely be very noticeable. A piece composed of many different smaller pieces or has a lot of repairs is significantly less valuable than a natural piece. If you don't mind these repaired pieces, that's totally fine! Sometimes reconstitution is inevitable if you want a softer crystal carved into shapes. 




Another thing to look out for with malachite is large pieces of malachite being combined to create one single piece. For example, this pyramid from my personal collection is not one single piece of malachite, each side is a different piece. You can see each side is totally different, and not connected to each other. At the bottom, you can see where random pieces are stuck together to fill space. This piece is most likely not genuine malachite all the way through, but probably just resin with an outer layer of high quality malachite. I love this piece because it showcases the best of multiple different pieces of malachite, but it is important to look out for when buying if you want something completely authentic.

Besides repairs, another characteristic of low quality malachite is a poor polish that results in a lot of scuffs and a dull surface. 

High quality malachite won’t be repaired in any way. High quality pieces are typically considered pieces with that beautiful bright malachite green color, with distinct patterns or banding. Malachite with lots of circles is usually the most sought after, though it varies based on personal preferences. 

Treated & fakes 

The reconstituted malachite we just discussed is VERY different than fake malachite, although sometimes fake malachite is given the name of “reconstituted malachite”. To my knowledge, the fake malachite on the market is not composed of any genuine malachite at all, it is completely man made and doesn’t have any spiritual properties. 

Unfortunately, fake malachite is pretty common on the market! However with a little knowledge and experience, it will become really, really easy to spot. Fake malachite is most common with beads and jewelry, especially from craft stores. A lot of sellers who have fake malachite will have it labeled as “synthetic”, “simulated” or “reconstituted” malachite, although some sellers do try to pass it off as authentic. 

Fake malachite is pretty easy to spot because of its blocky, simple, high contrast colors and flat finish. It is made of resin, glass, plastic or even sometimes clay. The biggest indicator of fake malachite is that it will have just three colors- light green, dark green, and black. There will be absolutely no variation between colors, no sparkle, no imperfections, no texture. Some may say that if your malachite has any black in it then it’s absolutely fake because real malachite can’t be black, but that’s just not true. Real malachite can range from very pastel light green to so dark it appears black. Genuine malachite has a lot of intricate patterns and depth, whereas fake malachite is flat and dull. 



Examples of fake, man-made "malachite" 


Sometimes very high quality malachite can be mistaken for fake malachite, because of the perfect banding and high contrast of colors.




I found these two photos on wish within the SAME LISTING which I thought was funny, because one photo is real and one is fake. Can you tell which is which? 

Looks aside, there are a couple other indicators of fake malachite. Genuine malachite is on the more expensive side, whereas the fakes are usually cheaper. Unfortunately some sellers of fake malachite do increase the price to resemble real malachite! But for the most part, fake malachite is significantly cheaper. If you’re able to shop in person, malachite is also noticeably heavier than fake malachite. Fake malachite can often be more of a yellowy green tone, whereas natural malachite is a beautiful blueish green/emerald color. 

I never recommend the burn test for crystals, personally I find it to be a little silly and unnecessary. It leads to more confusion than it’s worth. However, if you do decide to burn malachite to test and see if it's plastic, note that it’s totally normal for genuine malachite to burn and turn black when exposed to fire. It is normal for crystals to be damaged when burnt, and says nothing about their authenticity. If the crystal melts, that means it is plastic.  


Malachite has been mined as far back as 4000BC. Malachite was used as a pigment for thousands of years! Paintings made from malachite pigments can be found in ancient Egyptian tombs and European art from the 15th and 16th century. Malachite was popular and used often with ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Russians. 

A Spanish superstition from the 17th century said that wearing malachite could help you sleep and keep evil spirits away. It has historically been worn for protection, health, and success. It has also been used as protection from evil eye.



In Russia, there is a place called the Malachite Room within the Winter Palace. This room was designed in the 1830s and contains a malachite fireplace, malachite urn, and other malachite furniture. 


Spiritual & healing properties 

Malachite is associated with the heart chakra and is known as the stone of transformation. Malachite is also great for protection and absorbing negative energy. It allows for powerful emotional healing and allows you to embrace change. It gives us courage and wisdom while pushing away negative energies and feelings. Because malachite promotes change and transformation, it also aids us in having the courage to step out of our comfort zones and leave behind things that are no longer serving us. It encourages risk taking and letting go of old patterns and beliefs. Because of its color and association to the heart chakra, malachite is great for giving and receiving love, as well as removing any blockages we may have in the heart chakra. Malachite is also good for luck and attracting wealth. It is also a great stone for travel, especially if you are fearful of flying because it helps us to overcome fears and its overall protective energy.

Many people like to use malachite as a less intense alternative to moldavite, as they both promote change, growth and transformation. 

Because malachite absorbs negative energy, it’s a good idea to cleanse it often so it can be restored and work at its highest potential. Smoke cleansing and selenite are great ways to safely charge and cleanse your malachite. Moonlight and small amounts of sunlight will also do the trick. 


Shop genuine malachite HERE


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