Verdite is not a rock but a trading name used for gray-green to bright-green metamorphic rocks. These rocks are green due to the abundance of fuchsite, a chromium-rich variety of a mica mineral known as muscovite.
“Verdite” comes from the Latin word “virdis,” meaning green.
Verdite’s composition varies from one specimen to another. The usual compositions include primarily fuchsite, fuchsite intergrown (having grown into each other) with other mica minerals, or serpentine that contains enough fuchsite to give a green color to the rock.
Interesting Read: Soapstone Rock Type, Composition, Formation, Occurrence & Uses
Verdite is closely related to gemstones like lepidolite. Verdite is usually green, but the rock can have shades like yellow, blue-green, and brown. These colors come due to impurities in the rock and often increase the commercial value of the rock.
Verdi’s chemical formula (K(Al,Cr)3Si3O10(OH)2) is quite complicated, and it has a monoclinic crystallography. Verdite has a perfect cleavage which is rare in metamorphic rocks. Its hardness on Moh’s hardness scale is 3.0, and its density is 2.8 to 3.0.
The rock has a translucent to opaque transparency with a vitreous, silky, and pearly luster. The refractive index is 1.580, and its birefringence is 0.036 to 0.043. Birefringence is the double refraction of light in a transparent and molecularly ordered material.
Care: Verdite is a soft gemstone with a low hardness; even dust or a rough touch can scratch its surface. Utmost care is taken while processing the verdict. You must be very careful while cleaning it if you own a verdict. Make sure you clean it with hot soapy water and a soft, clean microfiber cloth. You must not expose verdict too harsh chemicals, excessive heat, and harsh cleaning methods like boiling, steamers, or cleaners.
Verdite vs. Jade (Buddstone)
Verdite is often mistaken as jade due to its green color. Despite this similarity, verdict and jade are different in many aspects. The biggest difference is hardness. Jade has a hardness of 6 to 7 on Moh’s hardness scale, whereas verdict scores 3. Jade is also known as buddstone or African jade.
Where is Verdite Found?
Verdite is a rare rock, and it is found in a few countries. The most notable reserves are South Africa, the Kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), and Zimbabwe. The rock is mined and often used as an ornamental stone and jewelry.
Verdite is native to South Africa and is a part of their culture. The people of South Africa have used verdite to make small sculptures.
Verdite is also mined to get precious gemstones like a ruby. Verdite is sometimes processed to make wall tiles and facing stones. However, it is a costly rock and is often used by the government. Verdite exported from South Africa has been used in prominent buildings in the UK like the Bank of England and the South Africa House in London.
Also Read: Quartz – A precious mineral
Verdite’s Metaphysical Powers
Verdite is one of the many stones believed to have mystical and metaphysical powers. People who found this stone believed it could increase fertility in males and females. Verdite is said to increase personal power, personality charisma, strength, reliability, and honesty without making one rude or harsh.