What is Serpentine?


Serpentine is a group of minerals that occur in various shades of green and can also be colorless, yellow, or brown. It’s primarily found in the United States, Great Britain, and Zimbabwe. Serpentine is often used as a gemstone and is popular for its unique green color and patterns.

Serpentine is a versatile gemstone that comes in a range of green shades. Its unique appearance and color make it a popular choice for jewelry and decorative items, especially beads and pendants.

Gemstone Properties

Chemical ClassificationInorganic - Silicate (Phyllosilicate)
ColorMost commonly green, but can vary from yellow-green to dark green, and sometimes even black or white.
LusterWaxy to silky.
OccurrenceUnited Kingdom (especially Cornwall), USA, and Canada.
FormationTypically found in metamorphic rocks, especially those derived from ultramafic rocks.
DiaphaneityTranslucent to opaque
Mohs Hardness2.5 to 5.5
Specific Gravity2.2 - 2.9, depending on the specific mineral.
Diagnostic PropertiesGreen, waxy luster, often looks like snake skin.
Chemical Composition(Mg,Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4
PleochroismNot observed in serpentine.
Crystal SystemMonoclinic/Orthorhombic (depends on variety)
Optical PropertiesBiaxial (+/-)
Refractive Index1.560 - 1.570
Birefringence0.020 - 0.024
2V angleMeasured: 0° to 30°
DispersionNot typically noted for its dispersion.