Malachite is a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral. It was one of the first ores used to produce copper metal. It is of minor importance today as an ore of copper because it is usually found in small quantities and can be sold for higher prices for other types of use. Malachite has been used as a gemstone and sculptural material for thousands of years and is still popular today. Today it is most often cut into cabochons or beads for jewelry use. Malachite has a green color that does not fade over time or when exposed to light. Those properties, along with its ability to be easily ground to a powder, made malachite a preferred pigment and coloring agent for thousands of years.