Malachite is a very beautiful stone of various shades of green and contains concentric light and dark eye patterns.
The colouring and patterns of real Malachite help to distinguish it from other green crystals and fake Malachite.
Unfortunately, Malachite is also one of the most faked gemstones available, and many imitations are now flooding the marketplace.
It is very confusing for the buyer as synthetic Malachite looks very similar to natural Malachite.
Still, there are ways to tell them apart. We will look at how to do this in this article.
What Is Malachite?
Malachite is a green mineral made of copper carbonate hydroxide. It was one of the first ores to be used to produce copper.
These days it is popular as a gemstone and is often cut into cabochons or beads for jewellery.
Typically found amongst limestone, real Malachite is sourced from stalactites on the surfaces of caverns.
What Colour is Natural Malachite?
Malachite’s most striking feature is its green colour which ranges from pastels to very bright green to a very dark green that looks almost black.
The impressive banding patterns and eyes can be seen when the specimen is cut into pieces.
Poorly created synthetic Malachite is recognised by its unnatural colouring.
The green is either too unusual or is just a standard medium green, and the banding patterns are unrealistic or simply too uniform.
Genuine Malachite is always a shade of green.
Red malachite is the name given to a type of red jasper, and multi-coloured malachite is cheaply dyed Howlite.
What Does Natural Malachite Look Like?
When looking for natural Malachite, it is essential to look at the colour and patterning of the gemstone.
There is an incredible variety of patterning in real Malachite, from standard striping to waves, rings, and unusual speckles.
The banding is not uniform in a piece of natural Malachite – the bands go from thick to thin in the same line.
Fake Malachite is generally made only with stripes as this pattern is the easiest to create by hand and is therefore repeated throughout the stone.
There are no variations in the patterning in synthetic Malachite.
The colour of natural Malachite contains all shades of green, from soft pale greens to greens so dark they look black.
Fake Malachite is mainly made of a medium green and a flat black for the striping.
They have only two to four different shades of green and black.
In contrast, real Malachite has a lot more variation in colouring.
Is Real Malachite Heavy?
The short answer is yes, real Malachite is heavy.
Due to its high copper content, real Malachite is heavy compared to its size and also quite cold to the touch.
Fake Malachite stones are created from plastic, clay, or glass, so they are much lighter than genuine Malachite.
While they may initially be cold to the touch, the fake stones heat up after a little while of being held.
Sometimes fake Malachite can be made from reconstituted real Malachite by using crushed leftovers of the real stone mixed with resin and dyes.
It still feels cold like the genuine crystal but doesn’t have the weight or the feel of real Malachite.
Plus, as I’ve mentioned above, the patterning doesn’t look realistic.
Real Vs Fake Malachite
While colouring, banding and weight are some of the best ways to tell the real from the fake, there are a few other ways to tell if Malachite is natural or synthetic.
Some Simple Checks
Malachite will not dull or lose its lustre no matter how much time has passed or in how much sunlight it is kept. This particular property made it very popular to be used as a pigment for thousands of years.
You can try the streak test as well. Rub the Malachite against a white porcelain tile, and if it leaves green streaks, it is real Malachite.
If it leaves a white streak or scratches the tile in any way, it is fake Malachite, as the real stone is not hard enough to do this.
Another test to try is the Acetone test. Place the stone in some Acetone for thirty seconds.
If it is made from reconstituted Malachite, the acetone will start to dissolve the resin, and the stone will disintegrate. Please note this method can cause damage to real Malachite.
Real Malachite does not float. It will sink immediately when immersed in water, whereas fake Malachite that is made from glass or clay will float.
Where Was The Malachite Sourced?
Find out where the stone was mined if you can.
Most Malachite comes from Russia. However, some deposits exist in Australia, Mexico, the Congo, Gabon, Namibia, and Zambia.
Always ask your supplier where they sourced the crystals. If their answer is not one of the places above, it is probably fake Malachite.
Malachite is not very strong, so it chips easily – it won’t even scratch glass.
If the stone is part of a ring setting, this is not ideal for real Malachite, as it can scratch easily.
Any jewellery that is open to rough treatment or constant wear is not an ideal way to wear real Malachite.
Real Malachite is sensitive to heat and acids and needs gentle care.
No mechanical cleaning methods should be used, meaning no ultrasonic or steam cleaning should be utilised.
Do not use salt, which will damage the surface. And never cleanse your malachite in water.
Use smoke, rice, sound, quartz or the earth to cleanse it. Recharge it in sunlight, or under the moon.
If the pricing seems too good to be true, then it is probably fake Malachite.
If the gem’s advertisement says it is 100% natural, Grade AAA, Genuine Malachite, but the price feels too low, it is more than likely a synthetic product.
It costs a lot to mine this mineral, so the price should reflect that.
The style of the gemstone is also a giveaway as to its realness.
If the Malachite on offer is shaped into hearts, moons, daggers, or angels, chances are it is fake.
Polished stones are available, but you won’t find any natural Malachite in the abovementioned shapes.
Why Should I Care About Real vs Fake Malachite?
It always pays to be careful about any purchases we make, especially on the internet, and buying gemstones and crystals is no exception.
We want to ensure that we are getting the correct stone and the best quality, especially when we want to use it for healing purposes, spiritual growth, personal development, physical healing and emotional well-being. Using a piece of glass just doesn’t do the same thing!
We also don’t want to be ripped off financially when making these purchases. Buying a piece of clay but paying for real Malachite doesn’t produce good vibes for anyone.
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous and unknowing vendors out there that may try to confuse the purchaser by not labelling Malachite correctly.
I hope you have gained some knowledge and appreciation of how to tell if Malachite is real and how to spot the fakes.
It is a stunning-looking gemstone and would make a fabulous addition to your crystal collection, so choosing the correct piece is very important.
- Pegasus Symbolism: Understanding The Spiritual Meaning And Dream Meaning Of Pegasus - November 5, 2023
- 50 Beautiful Moonstone Affirmations To Try - November 5, 2023
- The 6 Best Samhain Crystals To Work With This Spooky Season - October 23, 2023