A to Z 2022, Blog

W is for Williamsite – #atozchallenge

W is for Williamsite

Williamsite is one of the gems from the mineral antigorite, the other being bowenite.

Here is an Interesting segue into American history. Williamsite was named after it’s discoverer Lewis White Williams who accompanied Lt. Ned Beale on the 1857 Camel Expedition. If you are like me and have no idea what that was, head over here to read all about it. It is quite interesting.

Williamsite initially came from the Line Mine that traverses the Pennsylvania and Maryland borders. It is considered one of the many serpentine minerals found in serpentine rocks. Serpentine is not a mineral itself.

The hardness of williamsite measures a 4 on the Mohs scale. It is a translucent green mineral often used as a jade simulant. As with many other minerals, williamsite is often referred to by many other marketing names, like serpentine jade for example.

It has been difficult to find a good photo that I felt okay posting here but I did stumble on this December newsletter from the Mineralogical Society of the District of Columbia. On pages 16-17 there is a reprint of an article from the Bozeman Gem and Mineral Club. The article by Dr. Kenneth Zahn has a great story and photo about williamsite. You can read it here.

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11 thoughts on “W is for Williamsite – #atozchallenge”

  1. I’ve never read about the 1857 Camel Expedition before this. That article is fascinating about how the military tried to use the animals. I’m sad about how it ended for the animals because they provided a good service, just not appreciated for it.

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