Primary malachite crystals are actually quite rare in nature. Most large malachite crystals that you see are actually the product of a replacement (pseudomorph) after pre-existing azurite crystals, and show off the azurite crystal habit, but in green. This is a primary, i.e. original, malachite crystal of extraordinary size and robustness, measuring nearly 6 cm tall. It stands with a graceful slight curve among a bit of nestling matrix. This is an old specimen, surely, from the 1970s or 1980s. It comes from the Ken Rippere collection. Interestingly, small world that it is, Ken was Bill Larson's roommate in Colorado School of Mines. Joe Budd Photos.