Malachite can be found in most countries around the world but most of the finest material comes from Africa and the Ural Mountains of Russia. Its colour is caused by copper and being a copper ore its dust is toxic. When malachite is being cut and polished appropriate breathing equipment must be worn. Although malachite is safe to handle, it's good practice to wash your hands after touching it.
Malachite was being mined as an ore of copper at the Great Orme Mines in Llandudno in Wales around 4000 years ago. Tools made from granite and also animal bones were used for digging both of which are likely to have come from the beach. Azurite, chalcopyrite and possibly even native copper may also have been mined here.
Malachite was used as a pigment by the Ancient Egyptians as early as the Fourth Dynasty [2613 to 2494 BC]. In China it was also being used by the Shāng people [c.1500 BC].
This rough piece of malachite would make an exceptional display piece but we recommend it be handled as little as possible.