Manmade malachite joins our gemstone-bead line

November 7, 2008

When we’re crisscrossing the country doing our bead shows, Rings & Things gets lots of requests for
malachite beads. That deep, rich green just can’t be beat! But now it’s been matched:

We’ve located a source of
manmade malachite beads.
This makes it possible to bring you the marbled look and substantial feel of malachite, at a significantly lower price.

These are all round beads. We offer them in sizes from 4mm (about 3/8 inch), through 6mm, 8mm and 10mm, up to 12mm (about 1/2 inch). All sizes come in 16″ strands, so you get anywhere from 26 to 92 beads per strand, depending on the bead size.

It’s very hard to tell natural and artificial malachite apart. At Rings & Things we had to look twice, then do some checking. Apparently
researchers say the two varieties are identical in almost every way. The one giveaway is that this synthetic malachite may be banded with
somewhat more regular-shaped white marbling than the natural stuff. Have a look at some more manmade ones:

We think that what your customers are going to notice about man-made malachite is…the nice price!

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  • Russ Nobbs November 20, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I wanted to add that that we are carrying the man made malachite because the real stuff has gotten very scarce. Particularly the better looking banded qualities are quite scarce and pretty expensive.
    Dave’s blog makes it sound like we are carrying the man made malachite just because it’s cheaper. We’d rather carry good looking real malachite but our sources don’t have it available. I don’t know if political problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) cause the scarcity or if it’s just that the stone is running out.
    Whatever the reason, we are glad we’ve found a good looking man made imitation stone to offer in the mean time.
    As you’d expect from Rings & Things we are very out front about the material. Is is NOT real stone. One Chinese vendor offered it to us as simply “malachite” but at what seemed to good a price for real malachite. We asked some more questions and they said it was a “synthetic malachite.” I did some research and some testing and confirmed that it is a resin based imitation material. Checking my records from our last trip to China I realized I’d already visited the maker’s sales area in China and had pictures of the raw material as samples.
    (See my post at )
    Despite the first vendor’s calling it synthetic, this is not a true synthetic that is identical to real stone. Nor are there any claims about a “reconstituted” or a “laser treated” material. It is a man made imitation of malachite and that’s what we call it.