Malachite is a hydrated copper carbonate. It is easy to recognise. It is bright green and it is often botryoidal.
Botryoidal minerals look bumpy and bubbly. People often think this bubbly appearance is due to melting and heat. It is really to do with the way malachite grows in fluid rich environments at depth. The carbonates and copper ions are dissolved in the fluids. They precipitate out to form minerals. The first crystals of malachite nucleate as little balls. Over time the little balls of malachite grow into each other. This gives the material its bubbly appearance.
If conditions change during mineral growth, the colour of the malachite will also change. It can be brighter or darker green. Slicing through the spheres leads to striking bands and eye patterns. In china, these bands are supposed to represent the eyes of a peacock feather. The Chinese name for malachite translates as "peacock stone".
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