Serpentine

Big Photo

Antigorite
China
6.76 carats
© Rarestone.com

Serpentine is a name for a group of magnesium silicate minerals, which are related but have different structures.

The name derived from Greek word for a serpent, because of the serpent-like mottled and scaley appearance of the rock that contained it.

Some serpentines are widely employed as Jade simulants.

See also: Verd Antique, a serpentinite breccia.

Serpentine Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 

Serpentine Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Serpentine gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:4.16 cts
Heaviest:122.8 cts
Average:27.62 cts
Total photos:31
Do you have a larger Serpentine? Why not upload a photo?
4.16ct to 16.02ct16.02ct to 27.89ct27.89ct to 39.75ct39.75ct to 51.62ct51.62ct to 63.48ct63.48ct to 75.34ct75.34ct to 87.21ct87.21ct to 99.07ct99.07ct to 110.94ct110.94ct to 122.80ct
General Information
Varieties/Types:
Antigorite - A hard compact type of Serpentine.
Bowenite - Apple-green variety of Antigorite.
Williamsite - Oil-green variety of Antigorite.
Bastite - Pseudomorphs of Serpentine after Enstatite.
Chrysotile - A fibrous type of Serpentine.
Infinite - A mixture of Serpentine and Chrysotile.
Chemical Formula
H
 
4
Mg
 
3
Si
 
2
O
 
9
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Serpentine
Mohs Hardness2.5 to 5.5
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Specific Gravity2.44 to 2.62
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Cleavage QualityNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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FractureUneven,Splintery
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical Properties of Serpentine
Refractive Index1.560 to 1.571
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/-
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
Birefringence0.008 to 0.014
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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PleochroismAbsent
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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DispersionNone
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Colour
Colour (General)Green, yellowish-green, white, yellow-brown, red-brown, black
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004) Sometimes bandedMore from other references
TransparencyTranslucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreGreasy
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Crystallography of Serpentine
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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HabitMicrocrystalline
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
More from other references
Further Information
Mineral information:Serpentine information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
North Korea
 
  • South Hwanghae Province
[Antigorite var: Bowenite]
South Korea
 
  • South Chungcheong Province
[Antigorite var: Bowenite]
USA
 
  • California
    • Siskiyou Co.
      • Klamath Mts
        • Preston Peak
Gems & Minerals (1963): July: 20-22; USGS (2005), Mineral Resources Data System (MRDS): U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, loc. file ID #10286810.
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