The Jasper Called Malachite

The jasper called Malachite is one of the most beautiful jaspers in the world.  Malachite is a banded semi-precious stone with wonderful green hues.  Malachite is composed of copper carbonate hydroxide.  It gets its warm colors from the element copper.

Rough Malachite

Rough Malachite

It has been found in Russia; Timna Valley, Israel; Zimbabwe; Broken Hill, New South Wales; Tsumeb, Namibia; England; Lyon, France; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Zambia; Mexico; Arizona and Arkansas in the United States.  There is archeological proof that malachite has been mined at Timna Valley in Israel for more than 3,000 years.

Malachite has also been found as a semi-permanent pigment in Egyptian tomb paintings and European paintings in the 15th and 16th century.  Malachite is very possibly the oldest green pigment known.

While not a hard stone, it scores 3.5-4.0 on Moh’s hardness scale, it takes a wonderful polish.

Major uses for Malachite are jewelry and ornamental stone, such as vases and sculptures, emblems, electronics, ammunition, autos, coins, and more.

Search For Michigan Gemstones

I wanted to share my search for Michigan gemstones with all of you.  My goal was to search for Leland Blue Stones, Petoskey Stones and beach glass.

beachview

Lake Michigan in the Spring is beautiful!  The beaches are so fresh and clean from all the Winter storms.  Many Lake ‘icebergs’ were still hanging around.

Lake Michigan 'Icebergs'

Lake Michigan ‘Icebergs’

Zebra mussel shells had collected in mass at certain areas along the water’s edge. Unfortunately, these are not native to the Lake and are quite destructive to the Lake’s natural ecosystem.

Zebra Mussel Shells

Zebra Mussel Shells

Our first day on the beach lasted approximately three minutes!  The wind was gusting at 30 mph.  It didn’t matter that we had thermal underwear, parkas, scarfs, mittens, etc.!  It cut right through us!  My husband beat me back to the car and took this ‘lovely’ pic of me!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Two days later we were able to walk the beach and search for nature’s treasures.  I found some beautiful fossils but not what I was searching for.  Was I disappointed?  Absolutely not!  Viewing Lake Michigan’s beauty was prize enough!  I now have an excuse to vacation on Lake Michigan again!

Jaspers of the World

For the next few weeks, I will be exploring the jaspers of the world.  There are so many types that I know I will miss a few, so I apologize in advance:)  Working with jasper to put in my designs is my favorite part of creating one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.  The colors and organic patterns are absolutely beautiful.  So let’s get started!

First off, what exactly is jasper?  Jasper is a form of chalcedony that is an opaque variety of silica and comes in many colors.  Mineral oxides and organic materials create the beautiful colors and patterns.  You will notice that many jaspers resemble picturesque landscape scenes.  This is why many jaspers have the name “picture” attached to it.

Jaspers are found all over the world.  A wide variety are found in Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Idaho, California and Oregon in the United States.

DESCHUTES JASPER

This jasper is from a stone deposit east of Biggs Junction, Oregon, near the Deschutes River. It has a MOH’s hardness of 7.  It is located in what is now a state park.  Unfortunately, it will never be mined again due to most of it being paved over with a highway now.

 

Deschutes Jasper

Deschutes Jasper