Azurite is a deep blue carbonate hydroxide mineral. A secondary mineral, it forms in the oxidized portion of copper deposits through the action of carbonated waters on other copper minerals. Its name is derived from the Persian lazhward, “blue.” The ancient Egyptians mined azurite for use as a pigment and a source of metallic copper. Azurite was widely used as a blue pigment in Medieval painting. Fine specimens of azurite are found in China, Morocco, Namibia, and Arizona. Metaphysically, azurite is used for intuition, meditation, and stress relief.
Malachite is a green copper hydroxide, or copper ore, whose beautiful green color comes from copper. As early as 4000 BCE, Egyptians crushed malachite into powder to use as eye paint, pigment for wall paintings, and as a glaze and coloring for glass. Its name comes from the Greek word for “mallow,” as its deep green resembles the leaves of the mallow plant. Today malachite is used mainly as an ornamental material and gemstone, and is found in Russia, U.S.A., and the Democratic Republic of Congo.