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About MalachiteHide

Bright green, with crystals deeper shades of green, even very dark to nearly black; green to yellowish green in transmitted light.
Adamantine, Vitreous, Silky, Dull, Earthy
3½ - 4
Specific Gravity:
3.6 - 4.05
Crystal System:
Named in antiquity (see Pliny the Elder, 79 CE) molochitus after the Greek μαλαχή, "mallows," in allusion to the green color of the leaves. Known in the new spelling, malachites, at least by 1661.
Malachite is a green, very common secondary copper mineral with a widely variable habit. Typically it is found as crystalline aggregates or crusts, often banded in appearance, like agates. It is also often found as botryoidal clusters of radiating crystals, and as mammillary aggregates as well. Single crystals and clusters of distinguishable crystals are uncommon, but when found they are typically acicular to prismatic. It is also frequently found as a pseudomorph after Azurite crystals, which are generally more tabular in shape.

The Cu analogue of chukanovite. Structurally related to the Rosasite Group.

Visit for gemological information about Malachite.

Classification of MalachiteHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)

B : Carbonates with additional anions, without H2O
A : With Cu, Co, Ni, Zn, Mg, Mn
Dana 7th ed.:

3 : (AB)2(XO3)Zq

11 : Carbonates
2 : Carbonates of Cu

Physical Properties of MalachiteHide

Adamantine, Vitreous, Silky, Dull, Earthy
Transparent, Translucent
Bright green, with crystals deeper shades of green, even very dark to nearly black; green to yellowish green in transmitted light.
Light green
3½ - 4 on Mohs scale
Hardness Data:
Perfect on {201}, fair on {010}.
Irregular/Uneven, Sub-Conchoidal, Fibrous
3.6 - 4.05 g/cm3 (Measured)    4 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of MalachiteHide

Biaxial (-)
RI values:
nα = 1.655 nβ = 1.875 nγ = 1.909
Measured: 43° , Calculated: 38°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.254
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness)
and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
Very High
relatively weak
X ^ c 23½° = nearly colourless
Y b = yellowish green
Z = Deep green

Chemical Properties of MalachiteHide

Common Impurities:

Crystallography of MalachiteHide

Crystal System:
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.502 Å, b = 11.974 Å, c = 3.240 Å
β = 98.75°
a:b:c = 0.794 : 1 : 0.271
Unit Cell V:
364.35 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Crystals uncommon, usually short or long prismatic or acicular, parallel to [001]; often grouped in rosettes, sprays, or tufts. Botryoidal to mammillary aggregates of radiating fibrous crystals more common. It may also be massive, compact, and stalactic.
Untwinned crystals are extremely rare. Typically twinned on {100}, sometimes as penetration or polysynthetic twinning with the axis parallel to [201].

Crystallographic forms of MalachiteHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Malachite no.17 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Malachite no.20 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
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Edge Lines | Miller Indices | Axes

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Crystal StructureHide

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IDSpeciesReferenceLinkYearLocalityPressure (GPa)Temp (K)
0009305MalachiteSusse P (1967) Verfeinerung der kristallstruktur des malachits, Cu2(OH)2CO3 Acta Crystallographica 22 146-15119670293
0010795MalachiteZigan F, Joswig W, Schuster H U, Mason S A (1977) Verfeinerung der Struktur von Malachit, Cu2(OH)2CO3, durch Neutronenbeugung Zeitschrift fur Kristallographie 145 412-42619770293
CIF Raw Data - click here to close

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
Data given are for synthetic material.

Geological EnvironmentHide

Geological Setting:
It is the most common secondary mineral found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Synonyms of MalachiteHide

Other Language Names for MalachiteHide

Varieties of MalachiteHide

AtlaserzThe German name for a fibrous variety of malachite.
Lime-MalachiteProbably an impure malachite
MysorinAn impure Malachite.
Zinc-bearing MalachiteA Zn-bearing variety of malachite with Cu:Zn greater than 4:1.
Can be distinguished from the visually similar rosasite by X-ray diffraction.

Common AssociatesHide

ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
WadA generic name for (often poorly crystalline) soft manganese oxides/hydroxides, often containing significant amounts ...
Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
4,330 photos of Malachite associated with AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
951 photos of Malachite associated with QuartzSiO2
793 photos of Malachite associated with ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
792 photos of Malachite associated with CalciteCaCO3
784 photos of Malachite associated with CupriteCu2O
613 photos of Malachite associated with CerussitePbCO3
457 photos of Malachite associated with CopperCu
336 photos of Malachite associated with BaryteBaSO4
287 photos of Malachite associated with ShattuckiteCu5(Si2O6)2(OH)2
231 photos of Malachite associated with ChalcopyriteCuFeS2

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

5.BA.05AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10GeorgeiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2 · 6H2OAmor.
5.BA.10Glaukosphaerite(Cu,Ni)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m
5.BA.10Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.10ChukanoviteFe2+2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
5.BA.15Aurichalcite(Zn,Cu)5(CO3)2(OH)6Mon. 2/m : P21/m
5.BA.15HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6Mon. 2/m : B2/m
5.BA.20HoldawayiteMn6(CO3)2(OH)7(Cl,OH)Mon. 2/m : B2/m
5.BA.25DeferniteCa6(CO3)2-x(SiO4)x(OH)7(Cl,OH)1-2x (xOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pnma
5.BA.30Loseyite(Mn2+,Zn,Mg)4Zn3(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m
5.BA.30SclariteZn7(CO3)2(OH)10Mon. 2/m : B2/b

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

16a.3.1.2Rosasite(Cu,Zn)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
16a.3.1.3Glaukosphaerite(Cu,Ni)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
16a.3.1.4Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2Mon. 2/m

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

11.2.2AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
11.2.4ChalconatroniteNa2Cu(CO3)2 · 3H2OMon. 2/m
11.2.5CallaghaniteCu2Mg2(CO3)(OH)6 · 2H2OMon.

Other InformationHide

Thermal Behaviour:
Loses water at about 315°, leaving tenorite.
Readily soluble in dilute acids. Very slightly soluble in water containing CO2.

Frequently found as pseudomorphs after azurite, or as alteration pseudomorphs after cuprite. Less frequently occurs as pseudomorphs after atacamite, brochantite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, chalcophyllite, gypsum, libethenite, calcite, sphalerite, cerussite, and pyrite.

Rarely found altered to azurite or cuprite.
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.
Industrial Uses:
A minor ore of copper when abundant enough in a copper deposit.

Malachite in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for MalachiteHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Wallerius, J.G (1747) Mineralogia, eller Mineralriket. Stockholm: 279 (as Malachit).
L' Abbé Fontana (1778) Le Journal de physique et le radium, Paris: 2: 509.
Thomson (1836): 1: 601 (as Mysorin).
Zincken (1842) Berg.- und hüttenmännisches Zeitung, Freiberg, Leipzig (merged into Glückauf): 1 (as Kalk-malachit).
Lang (1863) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 25: 432.
Lang (1864) Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science: 28: 502.
Des Cloizeaux, A. (1874) Manuel de minéralogie. 2 volumes and Atlas, Paris. volume 2, 1 Fasc., 208pp.: 185.
Haege (1888) Inaugural Dissertation, Jena.
Gonnard (1906) Min. du Rhône et de la Loire, Paris: 82.
Galbraith (1914) Arizona Bureau of Mines, Geological Series Bulletin 149.
Schrader, et al (1917) USGS Bulletin 624.
Goldschmidt, V. (1918) Atlas der Krystallformen. 9 volumes, atlas, and text, vol. 5: 187.
Perrier (1921) Reale accademia nazionale dei Lincei, Rome, Att.: 30[5]: 309.
Shannon (1926) U.S. National Museum, Bulletin 131.
Hintze, Carl (1929) Handbuch der Mineralogie. Berlin and Leipzig. 6 volumes: 1 [3A]: 3368.
Guillot, Geneslay (1936) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 202: 136.
Binder (1937) Comptes rendus de l’Académie des sciences de Paris: 204: 1200.
Pabst (1938) California Division of Mines Bulletin 113.
Northrop (1942) University of New Mexico Bulletin, Geology Series: 6, no. 1.
Ramsdell, L.S., Wolfe, C.W. (1950) The unit cell of malachite. American Mineralogist: 35: 119-120.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: Halides, Nitrates, Borates, Carbonates, Sulfates, Phosphates, Arsenates, Tungstates, Molybdates, Etc. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 7th edition, revised and enlarged: 252-255.
Susse, P. (1967) Verfeinerung der Kristallstruktur des Malachits, Cu2(OH)2CO3. Acta Crystallographica: 22: 200-204.
Zigan F., Joswig W., Schuster H.U., Mason S.A. (1977) Verfeinerung der Struktur von Malachit, Cu2(OH)2CO3, durch Neutronenbeugung. Zeitschrift für Kristallographie: 145: 412.
Gaines, R.V., Skinner, C.W.H., Foord, E.E., Mason, B., Rosenzweig, A.(1997) Dana's New Mineralogy: The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana: 488.
F. Girgsdies, Behrens, M. (2012) On the structural relations of malachite. II. The brochantite MDO polytypes. Acta Crystallographica B68: 571-577.
Anthony, J.W., Bideaux, R.A., Bladh, K.W. and Nichols, M.C., Eds. Handbook of Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, VA 20151-1110, USA. (2016)

Internet Links for MalachiteHide

Significant localities for MalachiteHide

Showing 21 significant localities out of 13,571 recorded on

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListHide

- This locality has map coordinates listed. - This locality has estimated coordinates. ⓘ - Click for further information on this occurrence. ? - Indicates mineral may be doubtful at this locality. - Good crystals or important locality for species. - World class for species or very significant. (TL) - Type Locality for a valid mineral species. (FRL) - First Recorded Locality for everything else (eg varieties). Struck out - Mineral was erroneously reported from this locality. Faded * - Never found at this locality but inferred to have existed at some point in the past (eg from pseudomorphs.)

All localities listed without proper references should be considered as questionable.
  • South Australia
    • Mt Lofty Ranges
      • North Mt Lofty Ranges
        • Burra
Noble R.J., Just J. and Johnson J. E., (1983), Catalogue of South Australian Minerals-1983, Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia.; Grguric, B., Pring, A. & Drew, G. (1994), "The Burra Burra mine, Burra, South Australia", Mineralogical Record, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 121-129.
  • Tyrol
Meixner, H., Paar, W. (1975) Neue Untersuchungen am "Lockenmineral" von Brixlegg/Tirol. Der Karinthin, 72/73, 175-181.; Wight, Q. (1998). The Curly Malachite of Schwaz-Brizlegg, Tyrol, Austria New Find from 5,000-year-Old Locality. Rocks & Minerals, 73(5), 314-318.
    • Schwaz District
Lapis 19(7/8):13-78 (1994)
  • Cochabamba
    • Chapare Province
Alfredo Petrov collection.
  • Yukon
    • Mayo mining district
      • Galena Hill
        • Elsa
No reference listed
DR Congo
  • Haut-Katanga
    • Lubumbashi
Lapis (1992) 17(3), 13-40.; Deliens, M. (1996) Overzicht van de mineralogie van de koper-, kobalt- en uraniumvoorkomens in Zuid-Shaba (Zaïre). Pages 35-49 in: Schatten der Aarde. Van mineraal tot juweel. Tentoonstelling in de abdij Saint-Gérard de Brogne van 27 april tot 27 oktober 1996. Catalogus opgemaakt onder de leiding van R. Warin, AGAB en P. Van hee, MKA (in Dutch).
  • Lualaba
    • Kolwezi mining district
      • Kolwezi
No reference listed
Lhoest, Joseph J., Gauthier, Gilbert, King, Vandall T. (1991) Famous Mineral Localities: The Mashamba West Mine, Shaba, Zaire. Mineralogical Record, 22(1), 13-20, 28.; Deliens, M. (1996) Overzicht van de mineralogie van de koper-, kobalt- en uraniumvoorkomens in Zuid-Shaba (Zaïre). Pages 35-49 in: Schatten der Aarde. Van mineraal tot juweel. Tentoonstelling in de abdij Saint-Gérard de Brogne van 27 april tot 27 oktober 1996. Catalogus opgemaakt onder de leiding van R. Warin, AGAB en P. Van hee, MKA (in Dutch).;
  • Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
    • Rhône
      • Villefranche-sur-Saône
        • Les Ardillats
Favreau G., Legris J-R., Dardillac M. (1996), La Verrière (Rhône): Histoire et Minéralogie, Le Cahier des Micromonteurs, n°3, pp:3-28
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
    • Arnsberg
      • Märkischer Kreis
        • Lüdenscheid
          • Herscheid,, collection Thomas Thieme
  • Schleswig-Holstein
    • Helgoland
Weiss: "Mineralfundstellen, Deutschland West", Weise (Munich), 1990 Markus Gerstmann - Collection
Markus Gerstmann - Collection
  • Connacht
    • Galway County
      • Killimor
Lips, ALW (2006) A review of non-ferrous mineral deposits in Europe - Finalised initial database BRGM/RP -54957 - FR; Sangameshwar, S. R., & Barnes, H. L. (1983). Supergene processes in zinc-lead-silver sulfide ores in carbonates. Economic Geology, 78(7), 1379-1397.; Morrissey, C. J. (1970) The Mineralogy, Structure and Origin of the Lead-zinc-copper Residual Orebody at Tynagh, County Gamay, Ireland (Doctoral dissertation, Imperial College of Science and Technology London).
  • Oshikoto Region
    • Tsumeb
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 205, 251, 254.; Mineralogical Record, 8 (3), 130 pp.
  • Sverdlovsk Oblast
    • Nizhnii Tagil
Kievlenko E.V., Senkevich N.N. (1983) Geology of gem stone deposits, - Moscow, "Nedra", pp. 97-99 (in Rus.)
  • Arizona
    • Cochise County
Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of AZ: 37.
        • Queen Hill
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 580; Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 285; Ransome, F.L. (1903b), The copper deposits of Bisbee, AZ, Engr. Mining Jour.: 75: 444; Dana 6:1093; Kunz, G.F. (1885), On remarkable copper minerals from AZ, Annals N.Y. Acad. Sci.: 3: 275-278; Douglas, J. (1899), The Copper Queen mine, AZ, A.I.M.E. Trans.: 29: 511-546; Frondel, C. (1941), Paramelaconite: A tetragonal oxide of copper, Am.Min.: 26: 567-672; Lindgren, W. (1904), The genesis of copper deposits, Engr.Mining Jour.: 78: 987; Palache, C. & L.W. Lewis (1927), Crystallography of azurite from Tsumeb, Southwest Africa, and the axial ratio of azurite, Am.Min.: 12: 115-141; Galbraith, F.W. & D.J. Brennan (1959), Minerals of AZ: 27, 53.
  • Michigan
    • Keweenaw Co.
      • Lac La Belle
        • Mount Bohemia
Mineralogy of Michigan (2004) Heinrich & Robinson; Rocks & Minerals 84:298-323
  • New Hampshire
    • Coos Co.
      • Gorham
A. Plante collection; R. Janules collection; A. Smith collection;
  • New Mexico
    • Hidalgo Co.
      • Pyramid Mountains
        • Lordsburg District
          • Lordsburg
            • Virginia District
Robert E. Walstrom; Chester S. Lemanski, Jr.
  • North Carolina
    • Davidson Co.
      • Carolina Slate Belt
        • Cid Mining District
U.S. Geological Survey, 2005, Mineral Resources Data System: U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia., Steve Adams
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