The mineral has been known from antiquity, and was mined by the Egyptians as early as 4000 BC. The early Greeks and Romans used it for jewelry. In powdered form it was used for eye shadow, and also was used as a green pigment in paintings until it was replaced by synthetic pigments.
Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide, usually found deep underground in association with copper. Along with Azurite, Malachite has been frequently extracted from copper mines around the world.
It is a relatively soft stone, with the Mohs hardness of around 3.5 to 4.
In a metaphysical sense, malachite is said to release negative emotions and anxiety, and provide a connection with Nature. It is said to harmonize with and stimulate the Heart Chakra. In the Middle Ages it was kept in bedrooms to prevent nightmares.
We have a number of wonderful malachite cabochons on our Heart of Stone Studio webpage, www.heartofstonestudio.com.