Tremolite

Tremolite is a form of Asbestos and is sold here for serious collectors only.

Your handling of the material should be carefully considered. Non fibrous pieces are relatively safe, but should never be broken, ground, or otherwise altered.

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Appearance, Uses and History

The first thing to learn is that Tremolite is a form of Asbestos. 

It was named in 1789, after the Tremola Valley of Switzerland.

Fibrous Tremolite was rarely used commercially as a form of Asbestos – in fact, the most common ‘usage’ is likely to be of Nephrite, a type of Jade which consists mostly of green Tremolite.

Tremolite is an interesting temperature indicator for petrologists. At high temperatures, Tremolite will convert to Diopside. If a rock only contains Tremolite and no Diopside, it is a good indicator that the rock has not endured high temperatures.

Tremolite is not something that most people will be interested in – however, serious collectors may be very interested. I personally have a collection of the most dangerous minerals I can find, which includes some fibrous Tremolite.

Some high quality transparent pieces of green Tremolite are faceted, although these are typically intended as collectors stones rather than pieces specifically used for jewellery making.


Locales

Tremolite occurs in a huge amount of locations around the world.

Some interesting or crystalline specimens are found in Afghanistan, Canada, Finland, Madagascar, Morocco, Tanzania, and the USA.


Mineralogy

Chemistry
Tremolite is a form of Asbestos with the chemical formula {Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2.
Colours and Variations
White, brown, grey, colourless, light green, green, light yellow, light pink, light brown.
Streak
White
Luster
Vitreous, pearly, silky
Fracture
Splintery (and ideally to be avoided…)
Transparency
Transparent, translucent
Crystal habit
Elongated prismatic or flattened crystals. Also occurs massive, asbestiform, star aggregates, fan aggregates, fibrous, granular, columnar.
Mohs hardness
5.0 – 6.0
Specific Gravity
2.99 – 3.03
Fluorescence
May fluoresce yellow under shortwave UV, and pink under longwave UV.
Easiest testing method
N/A – not recommended. Items suspected of being Asbestiform should be securely contained in a sealed container and disposed of according to local regulations.
Common Treatments
N/A

Photos of Tremolite

Tremolit - Schmiedeberg, Riesengebirge
Trémolite-Barège
Tremolite 3

Tremolite-363511
Trémolite-Ontario

Hazards and Warnings

Tremolite is one of the six recognised types of Asbestos. When fibrous, the material is toxic and inhaling the fibers can lead to a series of serious health concerns including asbestosis and mesothelioma. Symptoms of some of these conditions may take 20 years to surface, and as such, some collectors avoid collecting asbestos minerals entirely.

Tremolite should never be fractured, cut, or polished without special protection. Hands should be washed after handling any Tremolite specimens, and ideally, specimens should be kept in clear, sealed boxes.

Non fibrous Tremolite is not considered to be asbestiform; these compacted masses and prismatic crystalline forms are safer, although they are not without risk.

Nephrite is a non asbestiform type of Tremolite, but a British Medical Journal link below explains that there is an increase in lung cancer cases amongst former Jade carvers.


Translations

Arabic:

  • التريموليت

Hindi:

Portuguese:

Bengali:

Indonesian:

Punjabi:

English:

Italian:

Russian:

  • Тремолит

French:

  • Trémolite

Japanese:

  • トレモライト

Spanish:

  • Tremolita

German:

  • Tremolit

Korean:

  • 트레 몰 라이트

Thai:

Gujurati:

Mandarin and Traditional Chinese:

  • 透閃石
  • 透闪石

Urdu:


Further Reading / External Links