Seraphinite is a variety of clinochlore which can only be found in one location worldwide. A member of the chlorite group of minerals, it can be quite beautiful which makes it popular for use as a gemstone. Seraphinite has a distinctive green colour and exhibits white feather-like markings which are inclusions of the mineral mica. The finest specimens can be chatoyant and although still relatively unknown, it is popular and highly sought after.
Mined solely in Korshunovskoe which is an iron mine located in Eastern Siberia, seraphinite has been known for a number of years but samples only began appearing outside of Russia more recently. It quickly attracted attention from rock and mineral enthusiasts around the world and larger quantities of seraphinite then slowly started being exported. Although more readily available now than it once was, larger quantities of fine grade material remain particularly difficult to find.
The name seraphinite seems to have originated from the Latin seraphim (plural seraphin). In the bible seraph which literally means "the burning one" is a heavenly or celestial being. Seraphin are said to be amongst the highest ranking order of angels and are spoken about in both Christian and Jewish bibles as well as other religious texts.
In crystal healing seraphinite is sometimes referred to as an 'angelic stone' which is said to enable contact with natural spirits and non physical beings from this planet and beyond.
Seraphinite's crystal structure which is in part made up of chatoyant white mica that often radiates outwards, gives it a feather-like appearance which clearly bears some resemblance to the wings of an angel. For this reason it has become closely associated with these heavenly beings but we are unable to find hard evidence to support who gave seraphinite its name.
Relatively soft and fragile means seraphinite is only really suitable for collectors and for use in the jewellery trade. Grading just 2 to 2½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness makes it challenging to work with but it really must be handled with great care.