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serpentine - green stone magic


necklace with pendant of pearls, red garnet, & carved serpentine

compositionmagnesium hydroxysilicate
name sourcefrom the Latin serpens, meaning "snake" (referring to the greasy, waxy color streaked skin pattern)
other accepted namesprecious serpentine, bpwenite, williamsite
historical aliasesthe 'poor man�s jade'; Korean jade, New Zealand jade, Suzhou jade, Styrian jade, and New jade -- all thought to be misleading
color olive green, yellow or golden, brown, or black
significant sourcesEngland (Cornwall, "The Lizard"); Italy (Piedmont, Antigorio Valley); Cyprus (Mount Olympus) and many other countries
MOH scale3 - 4.5
care and treatmentSerpentine's relative softness means it must be treated with care and it can chip or break if knocked sharply against a harder substance. Wash in warm soapy (non-detergent) water.