Saturday, April 14, 2012
M is for Malachite
Malachite is a green, very common secondary copper mineral with a wide variety of habits. Typically it is found as crusts, often banded in appearance, like agates. It is also often found as botryoidal clusters of radiating crystals, as mammillary aggregates. Single crystals and clusters of distinguishable crystals are rare, but when found they are typically acicular to prismatic. It is also frequently found as a pseudomorph after azurite or cuprite. It can also replace bones.
It is named from “mallows” in Greek in illusion to the leaf-green color.
The term “Black Malachite” is a misnomer and is not really malachite. It can be banded dyed black agate or psilomelane. The confusion comes from the fact they all have the same patterns but are different colors.