This is the oddest decorative stone lithology.  Soapstone is a talcose, generally crystalline-textured, metamorphic rock.  Most soapstones form by metamorphic alteration of serpentinites.  Being composed of talc, this rock has a hardness of 1 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, and is easily scratched.  So I wonder what good is it as a decorative stone? (I honestly donŐt know.)


Soapstone, undetermined age, undetermined provenance.  This sample is a pyritic soapstone - the brassy-brown patches are pyrite crystals.  Note the thin, curving, white lines - those are scratches.




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