Malachite is usually found in opaque green masses; the color is due to the copper content. Crystals are too small for faceting, however the massive material is carved or polished in many ways to reveal the alternating bands of light and dark green. In the past, malachite was worn to ward off danger and illness.
Malachite occurs in small quantities worldwide, but in larger quantities in copper-mining areas. Zaire is the most important producer.