Of vivid green hue often banded with black, malachite is a hydrous copper carbonate first mined by the ancients in the 4th millenium BC. The famous mines of King Solomon in the Wadi Arabah were an important source of malachite, which was used for jewelry and talisman as well as a cosmetic for the eyes when powdered. The Egyptians prized it particularly for this reason, and members of nobility, both 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 has been employed specially as a talisman for children, though to protect them from all 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 material, especially arthritis. In Imperial Russia, it was used extensively for jewelry and objects de vertu, particularly by the house of Faberge.