Antigorite is a hard, compact variety of serpentine occurring either in corrugated plates or fibers. Serpentine is well known to mineralogists and gemologists, but is much less familiar to the general public. Often similar to jade in appearance, it is primarily used an ornamental material and has been carved into a wide array of decorative objects throughout history. Antigorite is usually green, but may be yellowish, gray, brown or black.
Antigorite Optical Properties
Antigorite Characteristic Physical properties
||Antigorite often shows scratches and poor polish due to low mohs hardness. Stones are fine grained and has a flaky structure. |
Williamsite is a semi-transparent to translucent variety of antigorite, a mineral in the serpentine group. Williamsite was named in honor of 19th century American mineral collector L.W. Williams, who first discovered it. With a range of green hues, its color has a marked resemblance to two more expensive gems, jade and chrysoprase, and is used as a simulant of both. Williamsite exhibits an oily luster when polished and often contains minor inclusions of chromite and magnetite.
Williamsite Optical Properties
||SWUV: Inert |
LWUV: Weak whitish-green
Williamsite Characteristic Physical properties
||Williamsite is often included with black octahedral chromite or magnetite inclusions. Stones often shows scratches and poor polish due to low mohs hardness. . |
Verde antique is a name applied to serpentine rock that exhibits veins of minerals, such as calcite, dolomite, and magnesite. The material is a dark green with a mottled appearance due to various mineral inclusions.Verde antique has been a popular decorative stone for thousands of years.
Verd Antique Classification
||Verd Antique |
Verd Antique Optical Properties
Verd Antique Characteristic Physical properties
||Verd-antique is dark green serpentinite breccia that is mottled in appearance with white calcite or dolomite veins. |
Chrysotile, a fibrous form of serpentine, is also a major source of asbestos worldwide. Its color ranges from white to gray, yellowish brown to brown, and shades of green. Chrysotile has a fibrous, splintery fracture, no cleavage and silky luster. Chrysotile is used most commonly for industrial purposes.
Chrysotile Optical Properties
Chrysotile Characteristic Physical properties
||Chrysotile is fibrous and often mottled or veined. |
One of the most common serpentine varieties in the gem trade is bowenite, one of the hardest of the serpentine minerals. It is a massive variety of antigorite that ranges from blue-green to green and green to yellow. It is translucent to semi-translucent, and has been used in various types of jewelry, as well as in decorative and ornamental applications.
Bowenite Optical Properties
||reddish if dyed |
Bowenite Characteristic Physical properties
||Bowenite might show greenish sparkling chlorite inclusions and often shows scratches and poor polish due to low mohs hardness. |