Springstone is one of the hardest stones used for sculpting in Zimbabwe. There are a number of locations where this stone is found, but Guruve, in the north is where Springstone is mined. A beautiful dark stone, it polishes to a high shine because of its density. A feature of this stone, is that it will often have a softer brown layer which adds to the appeal, and containes chrome ore veines which often stand proud when polished. It is extremely durable, frost-proof and high sought after.
Serpentine Stone boasts an array of colours. No one stone is alike. The reason for this is the many mineral inclusions within the stonbe giving its unique colour variation. The name comes from an association with the characteristics of serpents' skin. Serpentine is the most commonly used stone because of the varying hardness for both master and apprentice sculptors. It rates between 2.5 and 5.5, depending on mineral inclusions, on the universally used Mohs hardness scale (a diamond rates at 10).
Opal Stone is unique in that it has fewer colour variations than Serpentine. It does however rate higher on the Mis hardness scale with a rating between 5.0 and 5.5. This is comparable with black iron Serpentine. The more semi-precious opal stone is Black OPal found in Australia, as well as Fire OPal found in Mexico rating between 5.5 and 6.5. Southern African Opal is famous for its milk ligh coloured greens and smooth texture.
Verdite, also known as "Africa's Green Gold", is high sought after by artists. Only the more experienced sculptor will dare sculpt from this hard stone. Verdite rates between a 7.0 and 9.0, depending on the amount of Corrundum inclusions, on the unviersally used Mohs hardness scale.
Verdite colour is unique in that it boasts an Emerald looking quality with beautiful brown and green saturations. Unfortunately, Verdite is fast becoming rare and is difficult to find. Carvings from this stone will become increasingly more valuable.