Monday, December 20, 2010

Rock Review: Serpentine

Serpentine ( hydrated magnesium silicate)
More of a mineral than a rock, Serpentine is so named because of its green, yellow or brown hue which resembles the skin of a serpent. Handle serpentine with care because it is porous and relatively soft, ranging from 3 to 5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness (that’s out of 10). This means that it should not be cleaned with an abrasive and chemicals including perfume should be avoided.
Although you may not have heard of serpentine, it has been used for thousands of years. It was used in ancient Assyria to invoke special blessings from the gods. It has also been used as a healing stone to aid in stomach and kidney ailments when laid directly on the skin. Here is a link I found on how to alleviate back pain with serpentine:
Serpentine is found in New Zealand, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, USA, England, and Italy. While it is pictured here in a striking yellow with flecks of black hematite, it is also found in many other colors. Red, green, brown-red, brown-yellow and white are other colors varieties of the same mineral substance.

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