An incredible piece of malachite with just the front being lightly polished. This solid piece which we found during one of our many trips to South Africa comes from the Kolwezi mining district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kolwezi is an important copper mining region.
Malachite which has been used as an ore of copper for thousands of years is found in or close to copper mines. Today chalcopyrite is the most abundant copper ore mineral.
Some of the world's finest malachite comes from Africa and in particular from Congo (formerly Zaire). First mined more than 5000 years ago in the Sinai and eastern deserts of ancient Egypt, malachite was ground down and used as a cosmetic primarily for around the eyes.
Malachite was also used as a pigment and as a glaze to colour glass. The green colour in some of the finest works of art ever to have been produced are from malachite. Although not used that often, pigments made from natural minerals are still used today by some artists.
The back of this mineral which is unpolished exhibits some amazing banding. One area also sparkles beautifully as it catches the light at certain angles.
A truly exceptional piece of malachite that you'll love having as part of your collection.