Lovely necklace composed of genuine malachite beads
Of vivid green hue often banded with black, malachite is a hydrous copper carbonate first mined by the ancients in the 4th millennium B.C. The famous mines of King Salomon in the Wadi Arabah were an important source of malachite, which was used for jewelry and talismans as well as a cosmetic for the eyes when powdered. The Egyptians prized it especially for this reason, and members of the nobility, bath men and women, applied it to their eyelids with ivory sticks. Not only did it make the wearer more attractive, but it was also believed to prevent infections and other diseases of the eye, for which purpose it is still used today. For centuries, malachite bas been employed especially as a talisman for children, thought to protect them from ail the diseases and difficulties of the very young. In Europe today, malachite is frequently hung around the necks of babies, or placed above the cradle where they sleep. It is also said to relieve toothache and pains of the mouth. Because of its high copper content, malachite when worn helps the body to overcome problems caused by deficiencies of this mineral, especially arthritis. In Imperial Russia, it was used extensively for jewelry and objets de vertu, especially by the house of Faberge.