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Fake or Real Malachite?

Malachite is one of the most readily faked crystals around, and it can be confusing at first to know which is the real version and which are fakes. Many sellers label their jewellery or crystals as 'natural', when in fact they are offering synthetic Malachite. This doesn't just happen in places like Wish or Ebay, it is prolific on more reputable platforms like Etsy, your local crystal and holistic shops, and even big name spiritual chains in the US. 

Find our genuine Malachite for sale here.

Genuine Malachite is formed in weathered Copper deposits, whereas fake Malachite can be made from plastic, glass or even polymer clay. Often fake Malachite is labelled as 'imitation', 'manmade', or even 'faux' to try and dress it up as something fancier. These are all genuine Malachite examples:



The first thing to generally look for is price. Real Malachite is not cheap, but the synthetic, or reconstituted versions tend to be. This isn't the case for everything, but it's a good starting point.

The next identifier is the colours and patterns. Real Malachite comes in a gorgeous assortment of swirls, waves, rings and stripes, whereas the fake versions tend to stick to the stripes as these are the easiest to achieve. The colours in real Malachite are all shades of green, from soft, light and pale greens to very dark greens and some so dark it appears black. Synthetic Malachite will often be medium green and flat black, with harsh contrast between the lines. They also tend to be a lot more uniform with only 2 - 4 different shades of green and black, whereas real Malachite won't have a repeating pattern and the shades often vary much more.


Another way to tell real Malachite is that it is a heavy crystal due to it's high copper content, heavier than glass and cold to the touch. As many Malachite imitations are created from plastic or clay, they are much lighter than you would expect genuine Malachite to be.

Another one to be aware of is reconstituted Malachite, this one treads the line between real and synthetic. It is created by using crushed Malachite offcuts or waste, and it is mixed with dyes or resin to form it back into shape. Due to the mixture of resin, it is lighter than normal Malachite, and although the colours look more natural, the patterns will again be often too uniform, and just look not quite right.

These are all examples of fake Malachite being sold as natural, or simply not labelled as to what they really are from Etsy and the internet. 



Photo credits Etsy/Ebay inc Malachite donut from The Spiral Rock on Etsy

Shop our Malachite collection here.

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  • Silver

    I was amused all the way through this article. Not because it’s not true – it’s a good article! Rather, because I found it after searching for ‘So much synthetic malachite’ out of indignation, after finally visiting eBay again and being shocked by how much fake malachite there is being sold as natural stone. Visibly, obviously, absurdly fake malachite… Also shocked by how much the price of genuine malachite has gone up. Suddenly I wish I hadn’t given away all those cabs I used to have as gifts, twenty-plus years ago. All from an auction on eBay, actually… $16 for an 8″×8″ completely filled box of amature malachite cabs, in an auction labeled ‘Bunch of green rocks’. Can’t find anything like that on there any more.

  • James Bartholomew

    “It’s high copper content” should be
    Its not it’s.
    Malachite is not cool to the touch.
    It is however only 3.5 to 4 hard on the Moh scale, so real malachite will scratch very easily.

  • S

    This is silly to mention, but another good way of testing malachite to see if it’s real is by smelling the sample. If it’s fake malachite, it’ll smell really plastic-y and synthetic. If it’s real malachite, it’ll smell like a penny because of the high copper content.

  • Cynthia

    Hi. I was just wondering if someone could tell me what the heck “hedge maze malachite” is? It looks strange and I’ve never heard of it. I found it in an Etsy bead store and I can’t find an information on it at all.

  • Mich

    Hello can anyone help with fake malachite stones, my son had a necklace and kept biting it I’m scared as I didn’t know it was toxic. My child is fine but what can happen now?

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