Malachite is a popular mineral with its intense green color and beautiful banded masses. The banded specimens are formed by massive, botryoidal, reniform, and especially stalactitic Malachite that are dense intergrowths of tiny, fibrous needles. Dense banded specimens are often sliced and polished to bring out their beautiful coloring. The bands may consist of concentric rings with interesting patterns; such specimens are highly sought after.
These concentrically banded specimens are most commonly from African sources. Polished, banded Malachite has been carved into ornaments and worn as jewelry for thousands of years, and in some ancient civilizations, it was thought to be a protection from evil when worn as jewelry.
Malachite is generally found together with blue Azurite, and sometimes the two may occur admixed or banded together, forming what is commonly known in the gem and mineral trade as "Azure-Malachite". Malachite may also replace Azurite crystals, retaining the original Azurite shape but chemically altering it.