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Serpentine

Serpentine is a silicate mineral that is usually shades of grreen and black. This is a stone that belongs in any rock collection, not just because of its beauty and pleasing feel but this is a rock with a history. Serpentine is one of many minerals formed at subduction plate boundries where one plate is being pushed underneath another. With the friction of the plates grinding on each other and the heat of the underlying mantle, the subducting plate gradually melts.  In the process it gets mixed with sea water and basaltic seafloor is transformed into magnetite, chrysophrase, chromite, jade and of course serpentine!
Properties of Serpentine

Chemical formula: (Mg,Fe,Ni, Mn,Zn)2-3(Si,Al,Fe)2O5(OH)4

Color(s): green, yellow green, brown green, black green
Streak: White
Luster: waxy
Transparency: translucent to opaque
Crystal system: monoclinic
Crystal Habits:
Specific Gravity: About 2.5 to 2.6 depending on the specimen
Hardness (Mohs): 3 to 6
Cleavage: poor to perfect Fracture: conchoidal - uneven
Uses: Mineral source of magnesium and asbestos, Specimens and ornamental stone, building stone
Location: Anywhere plate boundaries converge now or historically.California

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