For humans, the color green boasts many positive representations. It's one way we note when something is good for the planet — green living, green building and even the Green Party.
Psychological studies have found green has a calming effect, provide inspiration and increase optimism. The Egyptian god Osiris was often depicted with green skin, symbolizing not just his role as the god of fertility but also of the underworld, linking green to resurrection.
Thus, it's no surprise that the brilliant green mineral malachite has been linked with many of these concepts. In fact, ancient Egyptians sometimes referred to the underworld as the Field of Malachite. A copper carbonate hydroxide, malachite is essentially a form of copper rust, according to Terri Ottaway, Gemological Institute of America's (GIA) Museum curator of collections. But this is one rust that has been cherished for millennia.
"You want to talk spectacular?" Ottaway says. "As human beings we love green. It's naturally going to jump out at you."