Serpentine is the name of a stone, also known as serpentinite but often called serpentine in the marketplace and a family of stones.
Serpentinite comes in a rainbow of colors. Its a popular carving stone and jewelry stone due to its colors patterns and availability.
When talking about the Serpentine Family, we refer to a group of hydrous magnesium-rich silicate minerals. Serpentine usually occurs in three polymorphs:chrysotile, a fibrous variety used as asbestos;antigorite, a variety occurring in either plates or fibers andlizardite, a very fine-grained, plated variety. It resembles to a snake’s skin and that's how it caught the name lizardite.
Serpentine is formed below 500 °C (930 °F) when water and sometimes silica to various magnesium silicates—e.g., forsterite or enstatite is added during subduction. It also occurs along the crests and axes of great folds, such as island arcs or Alpine mountain chains.
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