Malachite is a green copper carbonate mineral. Its name could have come from the Greek word, “malache” which means “mallow”, because the colour of malachite is similar to the colour of mallow leaf. Alternatively, the name could have originated in the Greek word, “malakos”, which means “soft”, due to the fact that malachite is soft compared with other minerals. Malachite is used as a source of copper and as a gemstone. It often occurs with azurite in copper deposits. Malachite often has distinctive concentric bands in varying shades of green, which make it an interesting gemstone. It typically occurs in aggregate form, as botryoidal (grape-shaped) masses. The history of malachite goes back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who used malachite to make jewellery and amulets, and ground it into powder to make eyeshadow. Malachite has also been used as the pigment in green paints. Many years ago, huge blocks of malachite, some weighing an enormous 20 tonnes, were found in Russia and were used by the Tsars to decorate their palaces. However, the most significant contemporary source of malachite is Africa.