Seraphinite is famously known as the angel stone. The stone is dark-green. It plays beautifully with light. The main source of the gemstone is in eastern Siberia.
Unfortunately, it is not among the hardest gemstones out there. It boasts similar fibres such as charoite which is another popular Russian stone.
Seraphinite is the trade name given to a variety of clinochlore, which belongs to the chlorite group. The name seraphinite comes from the Greek word “seraphim”, which refers to a celestial being with three pairs of wings. This could be due to the silvery feather-like chatoyant fibers that can be seen in seraphinite. These fibres are a result of mica inclusions. Seraphinite is typically dark-green to gray, with contrasting silver feathery fibres that shimmer as the stone is turned in the light. Seraphinite lacks the hardness required of a jewelry gemstone, so it is mainly a collector’s stone.
In 1789, clinochlore was given the name “chlorite” by German geologist, Abraham Gottlob Werner. This name came from the Greek word, “chloros” meaning “green”, in reference to its color. In 1851, it was more specifically named “clinochlore”, (from “chloros”) due to its green hue and the oblique optic axes of the crystals (from the Greek word, “klino”, meaning “incline”).
Seraphinite is typically dark-green to gray, with silvery chatoyant fibers. These silvery mica inclusions may be sparsely or densely distributed throughout the stone.
Seraphinite Clarity and Luster
Seraphinite is translucent to opaque. The translucence is present on the silver fibers, which exhibit chatoyancy. The luster of seraphinite can be pearly, vitreous, greasy or dull.
Seraphinite Cut and Shape
Seraphinite is typically cut en cabochon, fancy cut or carved into spheres or other shapes. It is also tumbled.
Seraphinite is sometimes polymer impregnated, which improves its durability. However, untreated gemstones are available and all reputable gemstone traders declare any treatments or enhancements.
|Chemical Formula:||(Mg,Fe+2) 5Al2 (Si3Al) O10 (OH) 8 Magnesium iron aluminum silicate|
|Color:||Green to gray, with silver chatoyant fibers|
|Hardness:||2 – 2.5 on the Mohs scale|
|Refractive Index:||1.576 to 1.599|
|Density:||2.55 to 2.75|
|Transparency:||Translucent to opaque|
|Double Refraction or Birefringence:||Maximum of 0.02|
|Luster:||Pearly, vitreous, greasy, dull|