Where malachite gets its name from is not clear, either from the Greek malache - malwe for the green colour or from malakos soft, because of its low hardness. The special feature of malachite is the banding of light and dark layers into straight stripes or a concentric ring formation. When cutting malachite, make sure that the natural striation is expressed as well as possible. Very popular are malachites with concentric ring formation, the malachite peacock. Among the Egyptians, malachite was ground into powder and used as eye shadow. The largest malachite deposits used to be near Jekatrinburg in the Urals. Blocks weighing up to 20 tons were found there. These blocks were used for wall panelling and inlay work for the Russian Tsar's castles. Today, Zambia and Zaire are the most important malachite suppliers.

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