The term Steatite is generally interchangeable with
the term Soapstone although it may imply a slightly
greater hardness than is associated with the term
soapstone. This greater hardness of Steatite may be
due to other minerals in the stone other than talc,
or a crystal structure that is finer or denser.
Color is grey and white to almost silver
1 to 3 on the hardness scale
Serpentine is classified as a group of related
minerals in the Hydrous Magnesium Iron Silicate
family (similar to Talc and Chlorite) and can have a
hardness ranging from 3 to 4.5. Serpentine often
incorporates inclusions, which give the stone its
unique color variation.
Color is olive green, yellow or golden, brown, or
3 to 4.5 on the hardness scale
A non-fissile variety of shale or slate. A
sedimentary rock formed predominantly from a mixture
of clay and other minerals. Its extremely fine grain
is known to take excellent detail in carving.
Color is grey to black, but many other colors are
2.5 to 4.5 on the hardness scale