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Seraphinite Properties Facts and Photos

clinochlore mineral in a museum display cabinet

About the Mineral Seraphinite

Seraphinite comes from a specific type of clinochlore.  This relatively rare mineral part of the chlorite group can only be found in Russia.

Although quite soft, seraphinite is widely used as a gemstone because of its attractive feather-like markings.  These are caused by inclusions of the mineral mica. The presence of mica in seraphinite can cause slight chatoyance in some stones.

The clinochlore for seraphinite comes from an iron mine in eastern Siberia called Korshunovskoe.  Although the stone was known for a number of years, samples only began appearing outside of Russia more recently.

It didn't take long before seraphinite was attracting attention from rock and mineral enthusiasts around the world.  Gradually larger quantities then began finding their way out of Russia.

Although more readily available now than it once was, large quantities of fine grade seraphinite is still very difficult to find.

The name seraphinite seem to come from the Latin word 'seraphim', plural 'seraphin'.  Referenced in Judaism, Christianity and Islam the seraph which literally means 'the burning one' is described as a heavenly or celestial being.  It's widely thought of as a burning or flaming angel.  The seraphin are said to be amongst the highest ranking order of angels.

Some have a slightly different interpretation of the word and believe it may actually mean 'fiery flying serpent'.

The word seraph was used by the English poet John Milton in 1667 in his epic poem Paradise Lost.  The genre was Christian theology.      

The silvery-white inclusions of mica often present in seraphinite tend to radiate outwards.  This gives the stone a feather-like appearance which has been likened to the the wings of an angel.

For this reason seraphinite has become closely associated with these celestial beings.

When used for its metaphysical healing properties seraphinite is known as an angelic stone.  It's believed to initiate contact with natural spirits and non physical beings from this planet and beyond.

clinochlore mineral variety seraphinite

Seraphinite Soft and Fragile Stone

Despite its popularity as a gemstone seraphinite is soft and fragile.  It grades just 2 to 2.5 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.  This tool measures the scratch resistance of one natural mineral against another.  Being so soft makes seraphinite very difficult to work with.  Stones must be handled very carefully.

Article Photos

The mineral clinochlore in the photo at the top of our page is on display in the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Photo by Stone Mania ©.

The second photo is courtesy of Stan Celestian.  Both images are clickable and redirect to the original full size image.

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