Large, 6.1" Flowery, Polished Malachite Sphere (16 lbs) - Congo

This is a huge, hand-polished sphere of brilliant green malachite from the Congo. The lapidary work is very nice, and allows for the natural botryoidal patterns in the mineral to be seen. There are multiple pockets that feature botryoidal malachite formations, some of which have a beautiful sparkle. There is a large pocket in this sphere where the host rock has been removed, revealing both rock and some underlying, light-blue chrysocolla. This gap is easily obscured when placed on the accompanied acrylic display stand.

Unlike many large malachite specimens from the Congo, this is one solid piece of malachite that hasn't undergone any compositing. It makes for a very aesthetic display piece.

Malachite is an intense green copper-based mineral that can be found in a wide variety of forms. Malachite can grow in botryoidal masses, stalactitic formations, and reniform formations, typically as a tight cluster of fanning fibrous needles that make up a seemingly solid mass. As layers continue to stack during formation, banded patterns can sometimes begin to take shape, explaining the rings in all shades of green seen on most polished malachite specimens.

Malachite results from the weathering of other copper ores, and is very often found associated with other copper-based minerals such as azurite and chrysocolla. It can be found in copper deposits around the world, but the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the primary source for polished malachite and mineral specimens.

Malachite has been prized since ancient times, first as a utilitarian copper ore, then as an ornamental stone. Due to its value as a decorative stone, it is rarely mined as a copper ore anymore.
Katanga Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Diameter: 6.1" wide