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Serpentine Gemstone

Although we tend to refer to Serpentine as  a gem type, it is in fact a gem family featuring  several different minerals including Antigorite, Chrysotile  and  Lizardite  (named  after  the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall where it was first discovered). As Serpentine is relatively soft (2.5  to 4.1 on the Mohs scale), gem-quality material is normally kept for gem collectors rather than being  set  into  jewellery.  Unfortunately  for  those of us that live in the UK, all gem-quality Serpentine is Antigorite, rather than the Lizardite which is found in plentiful supply in the South West of the country!

In some countries, Serpentine is dyed and sold as “Korean Jade” or “New Jade”. In times gone by  in  New  Zealand,  the  Maori  people  use  to  carve ornaments out of the mineral, as the gem  is relatively soft and easy to work with.

Similar to the likes of Chalcedony and Agate, Serpentine  is  a  microcrystalline  gem  and  therefore is normally opaque to translucent in  appearance. Colours range from whiteish grey,  to yellowish green, to very dark brown, almost black.

The Serpentine we currently have in our vault is  from Afghanistan, but it can also be discovered in  Cornwall,  England,  Ireland,  California,  Canada and Norway.

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A Bi-colour and Yellow Serpentine bracelet

from the Naturally Yours collection