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The chemical formula of mineral Serpentine is indicated by (Mg, Fe)3Si2O5(OH)4 or Magnesium Iron Silicate Hydroxide. Serpentine belongs to the Silicates mineral class. Serpentine has many industrial applications. It is used in brake linings and fireproof fabrics. It is also usually used as ornamental stone. Serpentine can be also found showing nice and interesting microscope images when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Serpentine is actually a major rock forming mineral which can be found in many metamorphic and weather igneous rocks. Serpentine is often found coloring many of these rocks to a green color and most rocks that have a green color probably have serpentine constituent on them even in some small amount. These pieces of specimens with Serpentine inclusion can be found exhibiting nice and fascinating appearance when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy.

 

            Serpentine is actually a general name for several minerals belonging to a polymorphic group that includes antigorite, clinochrysotile, lizardite, orthochrysotile and parachrysotile. Their differences are actually very minor and so indistinguishable. However, chrysotile minerals are more likely to form serpentine asbestos while the rest are sometimes found lamellar or micaceous in character. Asbestos had been used for years as a fire retarding cloth and in brake linings. Serpentine can be found very attractive at some instances when it took a nice polish. This actually makes the piece suitable for carving purposes. Serpentine has been actually used as a substitute for jade and is sometimes difficult to distinguish from jade when found to a finer piece of material. Asbestos is most often linked to cancer. However, non-fiberous Serpentine is not a cancer concern. Asbestos Serpentine should be kept in closed clear containers, but makes an attractive specimen most especially when it is closely evaluated with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. Sometimes it can be seen with a golden color as the name chrysotile in Greek means, golden fibers.               

 

            Mineral Serpentine is most commonly found olive green, yellow or golden, brown, or black which can be seen more fascinatingly attractive when viewed with the aid of polarizing microscope for mineralogists. It is also usually found showing greasy, waxy or silky luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Most crystals of mineral Serpentine are found translucent in appearance while mass forms appear opaque. Serpentine has variable crystal system. Antigorite is monoclinic, clinochrysotile is monoclinic, lizardite is sometimes found trigonal and sometimes hexagonal, orthochrysotile and parachrysotile are both orthorhombic.

 

            The crystal habit of mineral Serpentine as described in the field of optical mineralogy never found in large individual crystals. It is usually found as compact masses or fibrous. Veins of viberous serpentine can be also found inside of massive serpentine or other rocks. Serpentine minerals have variations in cleavage. Varieties of chrysotile have no cleavage, while lizardite and antigorite have good cleavage in one direction that can be seen more clearly visible when viewed with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscopes used in the field of optical mineralogy. Serpentine also shows conchoidal fracture in antigorite and lizardite but it can be seen as splintery in chrysotile minerals when they are closely evaluated with the aid of petrographic polarizing light microscope used in the field of optical mineralogy. The hardness measure of the mineral Serpentine when specimen samples are evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually 3 to 4.5. Serpentine is also most commonly found leaving a white streak when specimen is rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral Serpentine is usually ranging from 2.2 to 2.6 grams per cubic centimeters. Serpentine minerals usually has silky feel to touch and the fibers are usually very flexible. Serpentine is most commonly found associated with other interesting minerals including olivine, talc, garnets, chromite, calcite and biotite. The best field indicators of mineral Serpentine usually include color, softness, luster, silky feel, flexibility and asbestos if present. Serpentine notably occurs at several localities including Val Antigorio in Italy, in Russia, in Switzerland, in Canada and also in California and Arizona, USA.



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Sunday, August 30th, 2009 at 3:47 am
Category:
The Silicates Mineral Class
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