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MINERAL OF THE MONTH

Fall 2007: Malachite

Malachite

Recently, the museum was able to purchase some incredible museum-quality Malachite specimens to sell in the gift shop. One is pictured below. Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It forms in botryoidal, fibrous, or stalagmitic masses, usually from the weathering of copper ores.

The stone’s name derives from the Greek word, molochitis, which means “mallow-green stone.” Until around 1800, pigments from this stone were used in making green paints.

Large quantities of malachite have been mined throughout the world including the Congo (Zaire), Tsumeb, Namibia, Ural Mountains, Russia, Mexico, England, and the U.S. There is archeological evidence that it has been mined for over 3,000 years in Israel, and for even longer in Egypt.

Malachite is a soft mineral with a hardness between 3.5 and 4, and a specific gravity of between 3.6 and 4. It is fragile and should be protected from scratching and sharp blows. When cutting or polishing malachite, you should be careful to protect your skin and not breath in the small microscopic splinters. You should also be careful when washing or cleaning malachite specimens because you can easily remove protective finishes.

Malachite is the anniversary gemstone for the 13th year of marriage. Some believe its metaphysical properties help to bring harmony into one’s life. It is also thought to enhance knowledge, patience, and to ward off danger and illness.


Mineral of the Month Archives

May 2007: Rainbow Fluorite

June 2007: Lake Superior Michipicoten Agate

July 2007: Labadorite

August 2007: Rain Flower Agate

Fall 2007: Malachite

December 2007: Nepheline Syenite

January 2008: Native Copper

February 2008: Amazonite

June 2012: Moqui Marbles

March 2008: Lake Superior Agate

April 2008: Shadow Agate

May 2008: Apohpylite

June 2008: Ocean Jasper

Summer 2008: Marra Mamba Tiger's Eye

September 2008: Mohawkite

October 2008: Mexican opal

November 2008: Prehnite

December 2008: Picture Jasper

January 2009: Sea Shell Jasper

February 2009: Polychrome Jasper

March 2009: Selenite Desert Rose

Spring 2009: Coyamito Agate

July 2009: Obsidian Needles

August 2009: Goethite

September 2009: Banded Iron Formation

Fall 2009: Fairburn Agate

March 2010: Fossilized Dinosaur Bone

April/May: 2010 Kentucky Agate

June 2010: Nantan Meteorite

July 2010: Mookaite Jasper

Aug/Sept 2010: Polyhedroid Agate

Fall 2010: Ammonite Fossil

Winter 2011: Argentina Condor Agate

Spring 2011: Petrfied Wood

September 2011: Petoskey Stones

January 2012: Mary Ellen Jasper

March 2012: Mexican Crazy Lace Agate

September 2012: Chlorastrolite Greenstone

March 2013: Jacobsville Sandstone

August 2013: Unakite

November 2013: Skip-an-Atom Agate

April 2014: Tiger's Eye

September 2014: Black Corundum

February 2015: Condor Agate

June 2015: Petoskey Stone

November 2015: Slag

June 2016: Lake Superior Copper Replacement Agates

August 2016: Puddingstone


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Gitche Gumee Museum.
E21739 Brazel Street
Grand Marais, Michigan 49839

 


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