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Serpentine Group

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D2[Si2O5](OH)4 + or - nH2O
Serpentine was named in 1564 by Georgius Agrigola (Georg Bauer) from the Latin "serpens" = snake in allusion to the mottled green appearance of the mineral suggesting the resemblance to some snakes.
Serpentine is a subgroup of the Kaolinite-Serpentine Group.

Within this group Kaolinite, Dickite and Nacrite are actually polytypes of a single species, but the names have been "grandfathered" by the IMA. The species should probably be Kaolinite, with -1A (kaolinite), -1M (nacrite), and -2M (dickite) polytypes. Most of the species in this group have multiple polytypes due to stacking sequence variations.

Classification of Serpentine Group URL:
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Chemical Properties of Serpentine Group

D2[Si2O5](OH)4 + or - nH2O
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Other Names for Serpentine Group

Name in Other Languages:

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Serpentine Group

Reference List:
Zussman, J., Brindley, G.W., and Comer, J.J. (1957) Electron diffraction studies of serpentine minerals. American Mineralogist: 42: 133-153.

Page, N.J. and Coleman, R.G. (1967) Serpentine mineral analyses and physical properties. USGS Professional Paper 575-B: 103-107.

Page, N.J. (1968) Chemical differences among the serpentine “polymorphs.” American Mineralogist: 53: 201-215.

Luce, R.W. (1971), Identification of serpentine varieties by infrared absorption: USGS Professional Paper 750-B: 199-201.

Whittaker, E.J.W. and Zussman, J. (1971) The serpentine minerals. In: The Electron-Optical Investigation of Clays. (J.A. Gard, ed.) Mineral. Soc. Monograph 3: 159-191.

Sunagawa, I. and Koshino, Y. (1975) Growth Spiral on Kaolin Group Minerals. American Mineralogist: 60: 407-412.

Wicks, F.J. and Whittaker, E.J.W. (1975) A reappraisal of the structures of the serpentine minerals. Canadian Mineralogist: 13: 227-243.

Wicks, F.J. and O'Hanley, F.C. (1988) Serpentine minerals: Structures and petrology. In S.W. Bailey, Ed., Hydrous Phyllosilicates (exclusive of micas), 19, 91-159. Reviews in Mineralogy, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, Virginia.

Wu, X.J. Li, F.H., and Hashimoto, H. (1989) High-resolution transmission electron microscopy study of the superstructure of Xiuyan Jade and Matterhorn serpentine. Acta Crystallographica: B45: 129-136.

Ulmer, P. and Trommsdorff, V. (1995) Serpentine stability to mantle depths and subduction-related magmatism. Science: 268: 858-861.

Irifune, T., Kuroda, K., Funamori, N., Uchida, T., Takehito, Y., Inoue, T., and Miyajima, N. (1996) Amorphization of serpentine at high pressure and high temperature. Science: 272: 1468-1470.

Auzende, A.L., Devouard, B., Guillot, S., Daniel, I., Baronnet, A., and Lardeaux, J.M. (2002) Serpentinites from Central Cuba: petrology and HRTEM study. European Journal of Mineralogy: 14: 905-914.

Auzende, A.L., Daniel, I., Reynard, B., Lemaire, C., and Guyot, F. (2004) High-pressure behaviour of serpentine minerals: a Raman spectroscopic study. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 31: 269-277.

Baronnet, A. and Devouard, B. (2005) Microstructures of common polygonal serpentines from axial HRTEM imaging, electron diffraction and simulation data. Canadian Mineralogist: 43: 513-542.

Balan, E., Calas, G. and Bish, D. L. (2014): Kaolin-group minerals: From hydrogen-bonded layers to environmental recorders. Elements 10, 183-188.

Internet Links for Serpentine Group

The following Serpentine Group specimens are currently listed for sale on

Localities for Serpentine Group

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
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