Serpentine is a gorgeous opaque green gemstone.Â I had heard of New Jade but didnâ€™t know these
two were the same thing until I started my research.
Serpentine gets its name from the word 'serpent' because it
resembles the skin of a snake. It is sometimes called New Jade and is
predominantly a green minerals that occur in masses of small intergrown
crystals. It also occurs in a variety of colors that also includes red,
brown-red, brown-yellow and white. It has been used since ancient times to
guard against disease and sorcery.
It was in the 19th century that people became aware of the
fire resistant nature of serpentine, as a result is was utilized in many
materials and fabrics. According to legend, Romans used this stone as
protection against sorcery and the dark arts. Vessels were made of serpentine,
as they were said to shatter is they came into contact with poison. Therefore
many ancients began using serpentine to craft drinking vessels.
The stone is formed from minerals that are found most often
in metamorphic or igneous rocks. The name serpentine is in truth a general name
that forms an umbrella over different types of minerals that are almost
indistinguishable from one another. These include antigorite, clinochrysotile,
lizardite, orthochrysotile, and parachrysotile.
The clinochrysotile form of serpentine was used for years to
form asbestos. However, asbestos's link to cancer has logically ceased the use
of this particular form of serpentine in jewelry
as well as in most ornamentation.
Serpentine is readily available in many areas including
Afghanistan, Africa, Australia, Canada, China, England, Italy, New Zealand,
Russia, Switzerland and the United States. In the U.S.,
it is mined primarily in Arizona, California, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
It is the state stone of California.
Serpentine is an old gem, perhaps as much as four thousand
years of age. It was highly prized by many cultures including the Aztecs,
Egyptians, and Israelites. Some claim that a part of the Egyptian Book of the
Dead is made from serpentine. Others say that the gem was often placed in the
breastplates of Israelite warriors.
Serpentine has been used since ancient times. It was once
used as a holy stone to ask the gods and goddesses for blessing. Ancient Greeks
and Romans used it as a protection stone. It was believed to protect its wearer
from poisonous creatures, which included not only snakes, but other insects
like scorpions as well.
Today, serpentine is still believed to be one of the most
powerful of all gemstones. New Age healers believe that it can unblock the aura
to bring mind, body, and soul back into natural alignment. It supposedly
balances mood swings in order to prevent humans from manic depression.
In the ancient civilizations of America, serpentine was
considered as a guardian of vital energy as well as a protector of the soul
against invisible powers.
In the Middle Ages, serpentine was used to house medicine as
it was told to increase the healing powers of the medicine and to make it last
The gem is also believed to help its wearer or carrier to
achieve all of their goals and objectives. In that respect, it is considered a
valuable stone for those working in a professional career.
Serpentine is highly valued as a meditation stone. Many
believe in its ability to help its wearer find inner peace.
As a healing stone, serpentine is valuable to nursing
mothers. It helps to regulate their supply of milk. It is also believed to help
with kidney stones and stomach cramps.