Found in many deposits throughout Zimbabwe its colours vary from black to brown to green, orange and variegated. Hardness level varies from very soft to vary hard. Measured on a moss scale where a diamond is ten, serpentine goes from 1.2 up to 6.54.
The majority of the sculptors today, however do not carve from soft serpentine, but rather select deposits of rock that are hard and therefore more durable.
A very hard serpentine with high iron content and a fine texture, no cleavages, hard and firm offering a good resistance to the sculptor. Springstone has a rich outer "blanket" of reddish brown oxidised rock. They emerge from the quarry like sculptures created by nature millions of years ago and are often a source of inspiration to the artist.

Leopard Rock
Very hard serpentine characterized by blotches of yellow/green and black.

  Opal Stone
A beautiful light greenish serpentine found only in 1989 in the Chiweshe area of Zimbabwe. Opal stone is a very hard stone finely textured with an almost translucent surface sometimes specked with red, orange and bluish dots and patches.
  Lepidolite A translucent medium hard mauve stone. Joram Mariga, a prominent first generation sculptor sculpts from lepidolite with great success.
  Verdite The Green Stone Of Africa - a semiprecious stone over 3 500 million years old
and a challenging medium for sculptors and master craftsmen. Ancient tribesmen crafted Verdite into jewellery and witch doctors made a preparation form the powdered stone which they believed increased fertility. Rare and beautiful, Verdite occurs in a variety
of changing patterns and shades ranging from golden browns to rich emerald greens and blues. In the knowledge that Verdite is found only in Southern Africa and noting in particular that Zimbabwe Verdite is of a uniquely high quality it is being sought after by international art collectors and investors who have been quick to recognise it as a rare nd intrinsically valuable material. Because there is only one known deposit in Zimbabwe and no other deposit of comparable quality anywhere in the world, Verdite art works have the double attraction of beauty and intrinsic value. Because it is a quickly diminishing resource the passage of time can only enhance this attraction. Zimbabwe Verdite contains Ruby corundum and is known as "Ruby Verdite" and is therefore considered to be a semiprecious stone.

The artist works together with his stone and it is believed that "nothing which exists naturally is inanimate" - it has a spirit and life of its own.
One is always aware of the stones contribution in the finished sculpture and it is indeed fortunate that in Zimbabwe a magnificent range of stones are available from which to choose.

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