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Antique Six Carat Genuine Natural Russian Variegated Malachite Semi-Precious Oval Gemstone. Contemporary High Quality Sterling Silver Ring (Size 11 – Resizing Available).
CLASSIFICATION: Cabochon Malachite Oval.
ORIGIN: Southern Urals of Russia, 18th Century.
SIZE: Length: 12mm. Width: 10mm. Depth: 3mm. All measurements approximate.
WEIGHT: 5.84 carats.
NOTES: Resizing is available. 14kt solid gold setting is also available.
NOTE: If you would like only the gemstone, and not the setting, we can dismount the gemstone and offer you the gemstone without the setting. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the setting.
DETAIL: In the ancient world malachite was a famous and very popular semi-precious stone. In Egypt as well as other ancient cultures, malachite was used as a children's talisman to ward off danger and illness. It was also worn as a protective amulet against the spells of sorcerers and witches. Medicinally malachite was used as an antidote to nausea, and was also believed to be helpful in treating ailments of the heart and throat. In Medieval Europe malachite was worn with the belief that it stimulated the optic nerve and improved vision. Here’s a gorgeous, richly colored variegated malachite gemstone from the centuries old mines in the Southern Urals of Russia. Hand crafted by an 18th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia.
Originally used in indigenous jewelry, this is an exquisite and incredibly richly colored precious gemstone with lots of depth and gorgeous tone. It is truly a very rich and colorful green gemstone, immensely popular with the royal houses of Renaissance Europe. The Southern Urals and France were the source of the malachite which was so popular in the ancient classical Mediterranean world. And archaeological discoveries show that this breathtaking and striking gemstone was extremely popular in ancient Egypt as long ago as 4,000 B.C.
Gemstone quality malachite is in high demand, and can be quite costly, and this is exceptionally good quality malachite, gorgeous and richly colored. Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 18th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones.
Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of a gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. For most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for minor blemishes both within the stone and in the finish, which by and large, are only visible under magnification. The setting is of contemporary origin. It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. It is constructed of sterling silver. We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested. Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid gold.
MALACHITE HISTORY: Malachite and Azurite, closely related forms of oxidized copper ore, both occur in the upper levels of copper deposits. Malachite is approximately 57% copper which gives it its distinctive green color. If blue azurite is left exposed to the elements for an extended period of time, it will slowly weather and become green malachite. The weathering process involves the replacement of some the carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules in azurite with water (H2O) molecules. This changes the carbonate to hydroxide ratio of azurite from 1:1 to the 1:2 ratio of malachite. Of course then it would come as no surprise to learn that both malachite and azurite are oftentimes found together in the same gemstone. Due to its beauty and relative softness polished malachite (and azurite) has been carved into ornaments, amulets, gemstones, and worn as jewelry for thousands of years. Malachite gets its name from the Greek word "Mala'khe", which means “rose mallow” (hibiscus), referring to the mallow leaf which is colored much the same as malachite. Varieties of mallow are quite common throughout the temperate zones of Europe, where the leaves are oftentimes used in salads.
In the ancient world malachite was a famous and very popular semi-precious stone. Its banded light and dark green patterns are unique in the gemstone world, and give it a unique ornamental quality unlike that of any other stone available to ancient artisans. One of mankind’s first green pigments, azurite beads believed more than 9,000 years old have been found near the ancient city of Jericho in Israel. The oldest malachite decoration on record is estimated to be 10,500 years old. It was uncovered by archeologists in the Shanidar Valley, Iraq. Powdered malachite was used in Egypt as eye shadow even before the first Egyptian dynasty (3100 B.C.). It was also used for tomb paintings from the Fourth Dynasty (2575-2467 B.C.) onwards. Malachite was even considered sacred to the ancient Egyptians, as they believed it was an aid to spiritual communication.
Also used for the production of jewelry and amulets, archaeological evidence suggests that the ancient Egyptians first starting mining Malachite about 4,000 B.C. in the Sinai, near what is now the Suez Canal, and in the famous King Solomon's copper mines on the Red Sea (the Timna Valley in present-day Israel). The Sinai area and its mines were considered under the spiritual dominion of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of beauty, joy, love and women. Ruins of the old mines, the miners' huts and inscriptions to the Goddess Hathor can still be found in the Sinai. Taweret, the Egyptian hippo goddess of childbirth, was often depicted wearing a necklace of many large beads, some of which were malachite. In ancient Egypt as well as other ancient cultures, malachite was used as a children's talisman to ward off danger, accidents and illness. Even today some cultures will attach malachite to infant's cradles. Malachite was a symbol of joy in ancient Egypt, and the phrase "field of malachite" was used when speaking of the land of the dead.
The ancient Egyptians also wore malachite as a protective amulet against the spells of sorcerers and witches, and also believed that wearing malachite in bands around the head and arms protected the wearer from the frequent cholera epidemics that ravaged Egypt, a logical conclusion since the slaves who mined malachite were often unaffected by the plagues. The alleged cholera-protection powers of malachite may have been due in part to copper's antibacterial properties. During the cholera epidemics in Paris of 1832, 1849 and 1852, copper workers appeared to be immune to the disease. Keeping that in mind, the use of powdered malachite mixed as eye shadow in ancient Egypt while conferring beauty and style on the wearer, also had other more practical uses. When used as eye shadow, malachite possessed disinfectant and fly-deterrent properties and is believed to have protected eyes from the intense Egyptian sun.
The application of eye shadow was believed to provide psychic protection as well. The Egyptian word for eye-palette is derived from their word for "protect." An unadorned and therefore unprotected eye was believed vulnerable to the “Evil Eye”. Outlining the eyes thus gained significance beyond beautification. The act itself created a personal protective amulet drawn directly on the skin; an amulet that once applied could not be broken, lost, or stolen. Found in tombs of the pre-dynastic period, eye makeup equipment (palettes, grinders and applicators) seems to have also been essential for the afterlife. Following in the Egyptians' footsteps, Greeks also made jewelry and talismans from malachite to ward off evil spells and thoughts. The Greeks also made use of malachite in monumental architecture. According to the first-century Roman Historian and Naturalist “Pliny the Elder”, the famous Temple of Diana (Artemis) in Ephesus (built in 560 B.C.), one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” (four times as large as Athens’ Parthenon), was extensively decorated with malachite.
The Greeks also wore amulets composed of malachite for protection from evil-doers. Since the sun was the enemy of all creatures from the "dark side," an image of the sun was engraved on malachite to protect the wearer from enchantments (“spells”), evil spirits and attacks of venomous creatures. The ancient Romans also made use of malachite for both jewelry as well as eye shadow. The stone was considered sacred to Venus/Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, and was used in spells to increase charm and beauty or attract wealthy lovers. The stone was also believed sacred to the Goddess Juno, and was sometimes referred to as the “peacock” stone. The peacock was the distinctive symbol and protégé of Juno. However it could simply be that malachite’s concentric rings resemble the eye like pattern on the peacock feather. Malachite was also referred to in the New Testament as one of the foundation stones of the post-apocalyptic New Jerusalem. "The foundations of the city wall were faced with all kinds of precious stone; the first with diamond, the second lapis lazuli...the eighth malachite…”
The ancient beliefs that malachite could be used as a talisman both to protect children as well to protect wearers from the evil eye, black magic, and sorcery expanded into mainstream Europe by the Middle Ages. Malachite was also worn by travelers so as to detect impending danger, thought to break into pieces when danger was near. During the Middle Ages powdered malachite was also used as a cure for vomiting, and many Medieval cultures believed that malachite would alleviate menstrual cramps and aid labor, and malachite was often referred to as "the midwife's stone". Malachite gained great popularity during the Renaissance. Historically the most important deposits of malachite and malachite occured at Chessy, near Lyon, in France; in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Discovered in the foothills of the Urals near Ekaterinburg in 1635, by 1820, high quality malachite had become very fashionable for jewelry, frequently mounted in gold and adorned with diamonds.
Malachite is now relatively rare, however the deposits in the Ural Mountains in Russia routinely produced blocks of malachite up to 20 tons in weight (the largest weighing a staggering 260 tons), and was used to decorate the palaces of the Russian tsars, including the famous Anichkov Palace in Saint Petersburg, and the 264,000 square foot Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow wherein the “Catherine Hall”, the royal family’s private chambers, contained massive malachite-faced pilasters. Perhaps some of the most famous malachite in the world is the “Malachite Room” of the Winter Palace of the Russian Royal family (now known as “The Hermitage” Museum, also in Saint Petersburg). Designed in the late 1830’s, the Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, the wife of Nicholas I, used it as her drawing-room. The room, including eight columns, eight pilasters, fire-place trimmings and decorative vases is made completely of malachite. Gigantic pieces of malachite were used to make the columns of St. Isaac's Cathedral as well, also in Saint Petersburg, wherein malachite faces eight of the ten huge Corinthian columns that support the three-tier two-hundred foot gilded iconostasis (the icon wall that separates the altar from the rest of the church). By the 1870’s, the vast malachite deposits in the Ural Mountains had been virtually depleted to produce these massive architectural wonders. Today, as for millennia past, malachite is been used as an ornamental stone and as a gemstone. Still relatively rare, it possess a distinctive bright green color, and when polished often resembles marble.
Throughout the history of the ancient world, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness, possessed of valuable metaphysical properties, and to provide protection. Found in Egypt dated 1500 B. C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. Gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. The medicinal uses of malachite, according to ancient sources, included its use as an antidote to nausea. It was also believed to be helpful in treating ailments of the heart, throat, asthma, spleen, pancreas, liver, kidney, lungs, asthma, motion sickness, vertigo, hypertension, diabetes, tumors, broken bones, torn muscles, and for reducing swelling and inflammation related to arthritis. In Medieval Europe malachite was worn with the belief that it stimulated the optic nerve, and improved vision impaired by cataracts. Some also feel this gemstone can enhance the immune system and decrease the wearer's susceptibility to radiation illnesses and injury from the electromagnetic pollution arising from the excessive use of televisions, computers and computer monitors, and cell phones.
On the metaphysical plane, malachite was held conducive to increased knowledge, patience, tolerance, flexibility, harmony, and useful in balancing the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the individual. Contemporary practitioners associate malachite with spiritual growth, as it is said to overcome the bad memories and experiences that took place in past. Many believe that this stone helps to reduce anger, to increase psychic awareness, wisdom, and spiritual “force”. Traditionally it has been employed to aid in the recovery from emotional illness, particularly for releasing feeling of guilt and coping with changes. Psychologically, it can be used to help recognize and release the lingering effects of negative experiences.
Malachite has been also been used to promote success in business and avoid undesirable business associations. Malachite can also aid in concentration and is known as a protective stone in the field of aviation, where it is believed to stimulate awareness and prevent vertigo . Malachite is thought by some to promote friendship, fidelity in love, and to be a stone of good fortune which will bring prosperity and material abundance. Malachite is also attributed with the ability to help clear the path to reach desired goals, enhance emotional stability, and counteract any self-destructive romantic tendencies while encouraging true love. It is also believed by some to raise the wearer's spirits and aid with insecurity, confusion, and lack of purpose.
Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $15.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $19.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.
We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is INCLUDED in our price. International tracking is at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).
We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset.
Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today.
Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czar’s led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of “helpers” (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India. Occasionally while in Russia, India, Siam, and Ceylon we will also find such good buys on unique contemporary gemstones and jewelry that we will purchase a few pieces to offer to our customers here in America. These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques – just to avoid confusion. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."