Formula: Mg3Si2O5(OH)4
Phyllosilicate (sheet silicate), serpentine subgroup
Crystal System: Monoclinic
Specific gravity: 2.0 to 2.6
Hardness: 2½ to 4
Streak: White
Colour: Green, grey to black, white, brownish
Solubility: Insoluble in water, nitric and sulphuric acid; soluble in hydrochloric acid forming an insoluble silica gel

Metamorphic environments

Chrysotile is a major constituent of serpentinite, that is usually formed at very low temperature from peridotite by low-grade metamorphism. It occurs with other serpentine minerals such as antigorite and lizardite.


The Two Mile and Three Mile deposits, Paddy's River, Paddys River District, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, are skarn deposits at the contact between granodiorite and volcanic rocks. Chrysotile occurs in banded marble at the Three Mile deposit, associated with chlorite and magnetite, and with minor amounts of tremolite, talc, hematite and quartz (AJM 22.1.35).

At Mianning County, Liangshan Yi, Sichuan, China, chrysotile has been found (AESS).
Chrysotile from Mianning County - Image

Amity, Town of Warwick, Orange county, New York, USA, is an area of granite intrusions into marble and associated gneiss. The marble is mostly composed of white crystalline calcite that often has small flakes or spheres of graphite and phlogopite. Chrysotile is a low-temperature mineral that occurs in fibrous crystal masses to 30 cm in marble (R&M 96.5.435).


See results for serpentine, which is a group of minerals including antigorite, chrysotile and lizardite, all of which share the same formula, although they have slightly different structures.

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