Barbeton Stichtite and Serpentine Rough Specimen - 47mm, 43g
Locality - Barbeton, Mpumalanga, South Africa Size – 47 x 42 x 27mm Weight – 43g
This stichtite specimen displays some nice areas of rich, glossy lavender purple and powder white material with deep, pistachio green serpentine. It has an unusual, 'spiny' form across one face that somewhat resembles a mountain range. The photos show the specimen dry, but when wet or polished, the colour becomes more saturated and rich, and this solid piece could be used as high grade lapidary rough for cabs or sculptural art. These rare, beautifully coloured specimens are from the 3.5 billion year old Barbeton Greenstone Belt in South Africa where the mineral is found in very limited amounts.
About Stichtite & Serpentine
Stichtite - also known as 'purpite' and 'lavenderite' in allusion to its colour - is a rare silky lilac to deep purple carbonate mineral composed of chromium and magnesium often found in association with the green mineral serpentine, together creating an attractive multicoloured stone. Its most common locality is near Dundas, in Tasmania, though some specimens are also found in the Barbeton Greenstone Belt in South Africa, a deposit that dates back to 3.5 billion years. It has a beautiful shiny appearance on its surface and is often used for ornamental stone carvings. Specimens of stichtite and serpentine are also marketed under the name 'Atlantisite'.
Serpentine is a member of the kaolinite-serpentine group and is typically green or brown in colour. Its name derives from the Latin 'serpentinus', meaning 'serpent rock' in allusion to its reptilian colour and pattern. It is created when ultramafic rocks such as peridotite and dunite undergo hydrothermal metamorphism. Serpentine has been used as an architectural stone for thousands of years, and is still prized today for ornamental carvings and as cabochons in jewellery.