The name derives from the Greek (14th century) Malakhe, meaning “mallow”, a plant similar in colour. A carbonate of copper, malachite is opaque and always green. It has a striking colour stratification, varying from bright green to a very dark, even blackish green. The “stripes” are generally curved according to the outer surface of the stone. As far back as the Bronze Age, malachite was used for ornaments and jewellery but was also melted down to produce copper. It was highly valued for many centuries in Eastern Europe as an ornamental stone, especially in veneered form for tables and boxes. Malachite was also used in the treatment of cholera, colic, growths and other internal ailments. It is thought to stimulate instinctive and intuitive reasoning, promoting change that facilitates advancement. It is said to represent fidelity in love and friendship, loyalty in partnerships, and practicality and responsibility in business transactions. Malachite is helpful in the treatment of eye-sight problems, toothache, vertigo and menstrual disorders. It is thought to protect against and can be used in treating asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, tumours, growths, broken bones and torn muscles.