Rich green coloured malachite with exceptionally subtle markings. This highly polished stone has been mounted in a handmade sterling silver setting.
Being an ore of copper malachite has been used by man for thousands of years. It was first used for this purpose around 5000 BC.
Malachite and azurite are closely related. Despite the two minerals being a different colour, they share an almost identical chemical composition. The reason for the difference is because the copper in malachite is more highly oxidized than in azurite.
Although malachite has been widely used for decorative purposes for thousands of years, it's a soft stone that's difficult to work with. When being cut and polished protective breathing equipment must be worn. This is being an ore of copper, its dust is toxic.
When polished, malachite is completely safe to handle.