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♦ GEMSTONE STORY
Azurite-malachite is a blend of two distinct and popular gems: the deep, almost lapis-like blues of azurite and the variegated green shades of banded malachite. The name azurite comes from lazhward, a Persian word for “blue,” while “malachite” originally comes from the Greek word molochitis, meaning “mallow plant.” The stone name can sometimes be shortened to azurmalachite. It is commonly cut into cabochons or carved into small objets d’art. The oldest mine known is at Timna Valley in Israel, in operation for over 3,000 years.
These two copper-based gemstones are frequently found in copper mines, or near mines of other copper-based gemstones such as turquoise and chrysocolla. (A blend of azurite, malachite, turquoise and chrysocolla, called “Eilat stone,” is named after the Middle Eastern city of Eilat, where it was once mined. Eilat stone, also known as King Solomon’s stone, is the national stone of Israel.)
In ancient Egypt, Azurite–as a component of lapis lazuli–was used to create the protective blue eye of Horus. It was also ground for use as the pigment “mountain blue,” “Armenian stone” or “Azurro Della Magna.” Many medieval paintings of the Virgin Mary in a blue robe were long thought to be painted using lapis lazuli; chemical analysis has since indicated that azurite was used instead, from the well-known mines in France. Malachite was ground into eyeshadow powder (unfortunately toxic), and referred to their love goddess Hathor as “the lady of malachite.” They thought wearing malachite around their heads and arms protected them from epidemics.
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• Product SKU : E0142