Crystal Closeup: Malachite

“MALACHITE.
The sudden spoon is the same in no size. The sudden spoon is the wound in the decision.”

– Gertrude Stein, “Tender Buttons”

I would be remiss to discuss malachite without bringing up Gertrude Stein. Well, perhaps that’s not exactly true, but ever since I read “Tender Buttons” in college malachite has immediately brought the section of the poem above to mind. Malachite has actually been quite inspirational to authors, so, for the first time, there’s a literature section at the bottom of this crystal closeup post.

Malachite contains copper, and historically it was smelted, as well as used to create pigments, glazes, jewelry, and decorative pieces. Its name comes from the Greek word for “mallow” and it is known for its bands of bright green color. Malachite is found in many parts of the world with some of the best coming from the Congo, Morocco, Arizona, France, and South Australia; massive deposits have been found in Russia in the Ural Mountains. Malachite grows in many formations including fibrous aggregates, botryoidal or encrusting masses, and stalactites; it often grows with azurite as well. Unfortunately, cheap, synthetic malachite is being produced; real malachite won’t be nearly as inexpensive.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Crystal Vibe Shopping Guide: Malachite

I was planning a larger article on malachite that turned into book-level research project and completely got away from me. Since I’m not researching a book (yet, potential publishers, call me) I decided to post my findings is bits and pieces. Below is the shopping guide for some truly remarkable malachite and malachite-inspired items. Who knew a Fornasetti plate with a drawing of malachite could sell for more than a plate made of actual malachite? Well, now it’s all of us. The malachite offerings shown here are presented in order from most expensive to least expensive and while some are, shall we say, “aspirational,” others are downright affordable.

Malachite Pattern Plates by Fornasetti

Malachite Pattern Plates by Fornasetti

Fornasetti has got to be the king of malachite, and these plates are made with his signature illustrations. I found this set of twelve porcelain plates on this auction site, but they are no longer available. If you want to get close you can buy the 24″ aluminum version at Barney’s for $975. Or, you know, donate the money to charity, whatever. Fornasetti’s malachite print is also available on everything from candles to tables to wallpaper.

Victorian Malachite Brooch $750

Victorian Malachite Brooch $750

For a moment I thought I wasn’t going to be able to find a proper competitor for the Fornisetti plates that was made out of real malachite, but then I found this stunning Victorian brooch on Etsy. It’s 14K gold, measures around 3″ across, and costs $750. Pick it up at Acanthus Antiques and tell them I sent you and that they owe me for referring the sale. Also, I don’t feel like modern jewelry is as simple and elegant, while also being as subtly ostentatious as this brooch, and that’s a real shame.

Continue reading