Azurite and Malachite Dice with Copper


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This project has been around for quite some time as we have been looking for a way to offer semi precious stone dice that could stand up to the rigors of play. We don’t make shelf queens. Our dice are made to game and we back that up with a lifetime warranty. Most semi precious stone dice proved to chip easily and wouldn’t hold up to regular use. That’s no bueno.

So how did we get around stones natural propensity to chip? Simple – we cheated. This new line of dice have been crafted from semi precious stone set in a resin matrix. The end result is flawless in execution, beauty, and gameability (if that’s not a word, it is now). By binding the ground semi precious stone in a resin matrix, it adds a toughness to the resulting die that unaltered stone just doesn’t have while retaining all the visual properties and heft of the original stone.

Azzurro Della Manga Pigment Sample

These particular dice are made from a blend of Azurite and Malachite then inlaid with Copper. Azurite and Malachite are often found in nature together. Both minerals are the result of oxidized copper orders. And both minerals have been mined since ancient times. Pliny the Elder listed Azurite under the Greek name κυανός roughly translated as deep blue, this word is also the root of the English word cyan. In antiquity Azurite was used as a blue pigment. It was used as a far back as 2600 B.C. in Egyptian art work as well as being used in Japanese works after being heated to produce a deep blue similar to ultramarine which is derived from the much more expensive Lapis Lazuli. Azurite is unstable when exposed to air and moisture and will morph over time to Malachite, which limited is usefulness as a blue pigment. Though many colors were developed in the middle ages using Azurite as a base ingredient. When mixed with certain oils it will form greens and even grey-green tones with combined with egg yolks. Azurite was also used to develop a wide range of blue pigments from Azurro Della Magna to Aremenian Stone Blue. 

Neoclassical vase veneered in malachite in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

Neoclassical vase veneered in malachite in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg: Wikipedia

Malachite has been mined since the 3rd millennium B.C. and smelted for its copper content. That copper is what gives Malachite its noted green coloration. Ancient Egyptians associated its green color, known to them as wadj, with rebirth and fertility. They believed that the afterlife contained an eternal paradise know as the “Field of Malachite”.  Malachite, like Azurite and Lapis Lazuli, has been used as a pigment since antiquity, though it has more recently been replaced by its synthetic counterpart. Malachite is the second of the two copper carbonate minerals and results from the weathering of Azurite, which is why they are often found in deposits intermixed with one another. Both of which were melted down for the copper ore in antiquity. So it is fitting that we inlay these dice with Copper numbers.

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