The mineral whose chemical formula is Cu2CO3(OH)2 is known as malachite.
Malachite is comprised of its constituent elements, copper, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, arranged in the monoclinic system of crystal symmetry.
True crystals of malachite are rare. This mineral is usually found in the form of botryoidal encrusting masses, often in a fibrous radiating form.
Malachite (and azurite, which is chemically similar) are common secondary copper minerals that frequently occur together. These are usually located in the oxidized zones of copper deposits.
Structures of Malachite
Malachite and azurite (also known as chessylite) have similar chemical compositions. The main chemical difference between these copper minerals is the ratio between the quantities of the copper and carbonate and hydroxyl groups.
- The chemical formula of malachite is Cu2CO3(OH)2
- The chemical formula of azurite (chessylite) is Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Distinguishing features of malachite
This is how to tell if a crystal is malachite rather than another similar material.
All of the following apply to malachite:
- Bright green colour
- Botryoidal form
- Hardness in the range 3.5 to 4
- Soluble (with effervesence) in dilute hydrochloric acid
Associations of Malachite
Malachite has many interesting metaphysical associations, including:
- Malachite has been described as a "stone of transformation" because it is said to help in situations of changing circumstances and to facilitate spiritual development/evolution - for more about this see Melody, "Love is in the Earth; A Kaleidoscope of Crystals", Earth-Love Publishing House.
- Uses to clear and activate all of the chakras, especially the heart and throat chakras.
- Positive relationships, including fidelity in romance and friendships, loyalty between partners, good judgement and responsibility in business.
- Use as a protective stone in the context of flight and aviation. Also used by some to alleviate anxiety associated with vertigo.
- Used to aid recognition and release of emotional factors underlying illnesses and other personal blockages.
Colours of Malachite
The colours of the bands within malachite masses vary across a range of shades of bright to dark green.
Other colours may also be present due to the formation of bands or small grains of other similar materials formed in combination with malachite - see photos below.