Background * History
- Its name is thought to be derived from its serpent-like green colors. Serpentine is not just a gemstone, but rather, it is a group of minerals which includes up to 20 different related members. Serpentine is a gem-quality hydrated magnesium silicate. It is usually green, yellowish-green, or brownish-green, but it can also vary from white or yellowish to gray, and from brown to black. Serpentine is veiny or spotted and may exhibit areas of chatoyancy, which can appear lighter or darker depending on the viewing angle. Serpentine is often mistaken for Jade, as they are both similar in color and texture.
- There are only two basic aggregate structures of serpentine which include Antigorite and Chrysotile. Antigorite is a platy variety of Serpentine, usually more solid than Chrysotile. Chrysotile is a fibrous group of Serpentine minerals which can be subdivided into four distinct varieties based on crystallization. Very fine fibrous Chrysotile is one of the many types of Asbestos. Asbestos is known to cause ‘asbestosis’, a deadly condition of the lungs caused by the inhalation of fine Chrysotile fibers. Since Asbestos is recognized as a health hazard, only the Antigorite form of Serpentine is used as gemstones.
- Serpentine minerals are metamorphic alterations of Peridotite and Pyroxene. Gemstone quality Serpentine (Antigorite) is often referred to as ‘noble Serpentine’ or ‘precious’ Serpentine.
- Some other well-known and popular similar or related materials include:
- Asbestos: A very fine and fibrous Chrysotile Serpentine.
- Bastite: A silky and shiny pseudo morph of Serpentine.
- Bowenite: A greenish Serpentine with densely packed fibers.
- Connemara: A rock composed of Marble and Serpentine.
- Deweylite: Chrysotile Serpentine with traces of Stevensite.
- Garnierite: Nickel-rich green Serpentine minerals, also called Nepouite.
- Retinalite: Antigorite Serpentine with a very waxy yellowish luster.
- Ricolite: A fine grained and banded Serpentine.
- Satalite: A fibrous Serpentine which often exhibits Cat’s eye chatoyancy.
- Serpentinite: A rock composed of mostly Serpentine minerals and traces of Pyroxene, Olivine, Magnetite, Calcite, Dolomite and Amphibole minerals.
- Verde-Antique: A dark-green Serpentine with white veins of Calcite.
- Williamsite: An oil-green Serpentine often with black spots or inclusions.
Healing * Metaphysical Properties
- acidification, anorexia, aura, blood sugar, bulimia, cellular regeneration, constipation, cramps, Alzheimer’s, dementia ,diabetes, diarrhea, digestion, detoxification, eczema, fear, confidence, hypoglycemia, independence, kidney, love, meditation, menstrual pain, muscle, negative energy, nervousness, overeating, peace, skin, stomach cramps, stress, tension, veins…
**Please note that all metaphysical or healing properties listed are collected from various sources. This information is offered as a service and not meant to treat medical conditions. Moirai.si does not guarantee the validity of any of these statements.
|Color||Green, yellowish, brown|
|Hardness (Mohs)||2.5 – 5.5|
|Specific Gravity||2.44 – 2.62|
|Refractive Index||1.560 to 1.571|
Origin and Gemstone Sources
- Afghanistan, Austria, Britain, Canada (Quebec), China, Cyprus, France, Greece, India, Italy, Korea, Myanmar (Burma), New Zealand, Norway, Russia, USA…
- Serpentine is rather soft and fragile. It is susceptible to acid, so harsh chemicals and cleaners should be avoided. It can easily be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft cloth or brush. Be sure to rinse well to remove any soapy residue. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended.
- When storing gemstones or gemstone jewelry, store them inside a fabric-lined box or wrapped in a soft cloth separately from other type of gemstones to prevent damage or scratches.
- It is best to remove any jewelry before engaging in any strenuous physical activity, such as exercise or sports. Avoid spraying perfume or hairspray on your precious gems.