Win a $25 Gift Voucher!

Subscribe! 1 winner/month

Socialize with Us!

Socialize with Us! Google Plus Follow us on Twitter

Share this Page

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Shop!

Buy our Beads on Etsy

 

Top-100 Award

Bead blog top 100

Bead of the Week

red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.

 

Search This Site

 

malachite 2I’ve always been fascinated by Malachite (pronounced ‘Mal-ah-kite’). The name may be derived from: 1) the Greek ‘malhe’, meaning grass for its green color, or 2) the Greek ‘malakos’, meaning soft, because the stone is easy to carve; OR 3) from the Greek word "mallow", a green herb. Its luxuriant, swirling patterns are unmistakable, and it can be startling in its beauty. With its concentric rings of green, sometimes resembling the eye of a peacock feather, this beautiful gem has been beloved of many cultures throughout the ages.

The first culture to use Malachite for adornment was ancient Egypt, around 4,000 BC. It was imported from King Solomon’s infamous copper mines on the Red Sea. There are tomb paintings in Egypt made of malachite ‘paint’ – the gemstones were ground into a fine dust and mixed with galena, a thick paste. The mixture was also used for cosmetics and paintings on eyelids as a talisman against evil.

European painters during the Renaissance period of the 15th and 16th centuries also used Malachite as a pigment for paints and dyes. It is thought that many of the green colors in Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting were painted with malachite-based oil paints.

In Victorian times, women hung small pieces of Malachite from baby cribs and children’s beds to keep evil at bay and to help their babies have peaceful sleep.

During the Russian Romanov dynasty, malachite came to be a symbol of outlandish luxury. By 1820, it was being paired with gold and diamonds. Most astounding, in 1835 a virtual mountain of malachite was discovered – a boulder of the highest quality, that took 21 years to unearth and bring to the surface. Slabs of the gem were used to adorn two Russian palaces with pillars, columns and walls; it also encased ten enormous Corinthian columns supporting a two-hundred foot tall gilded altar in St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.

malachite beadsMalachite is abundant in its typical forms, so even the best specimens are modestly priced. Pieces showing an unusual crystal formation, distinctive pattern or chatoyancy will have higher values. Also, rocks consisting of malachite and other colorful copper minerals in lovely combinations generally command higher prices than pure malachites. You can get some very nice beads and cabs from Fire Mountain Gems, and that’s also a good place to get more information about Malachite’s history, geology, and more. It’s a great stone to use for gifts, because it has come to convey friendship and loyalty.

Pictured above (from top to bottom) are the columns at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, followed by a gorgeous creation from Holly Fann of TheAtelier on Etsy.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

M is for Malachite Beads or

About Sheila & Shannon & the Bead Blog

Until Next Time,

Sheila

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2017 The Bead Collection. All Rights Reserved.