The serpentine subgroup (part of the kaolinite -serpentine group) are greenish, brownish, or spotted minerals commonly found in serpentinite and asbestos The name is thought to come from the greenish color being that of a serpent.
The serpentine group describes a group of common rock -forming hydrous phyllosilicate )3Si, resulting from the metamorphism of the minerals that are contained in ultramafic rocks They may contain minor amounts of other elements including chromium. In mineralogy , serpentine may refer to any of 20 varieties belonging to the serpentine group. Owing to admixture, these varieties are not always easy to individualize, and distinctions are not usually made. There are three important mineral polymorphs of serpentine: antigorite, chrysotile.
The serpentine group of minerals are polymorphous, meaning that they have the same chemical formulae , but the atoms are arranged into different structures, or crystal lattices , which has a fiberous habit , is one polymorph of serpentine and is one of the more important asbestos minerals. Other polymorphs in the serpentine group may have a platy habit. Antigorite and lizardite are the polymorphs with platy habit.
Many types of serpentine have been used for jewellery and hardstone carving , sometimes under the name false jade or Teton jade.