I'd like to 'rephrase' my previous pontification on these
materials., having thoroughly checked now.
Firstly peridote is the crystal/gem grade of olivine. Serpentine is
Bowenite is serpentine, but much harder, more translucent and has
Anecdote: A Colleague of mine was doing research in Antarctica at
the base of mount Erebus. He'd done what he had come for, had packed
his gear and was waiting for the helicopter to take him back to base.
He was idly kicking stones (as you do), picked one up and found it to
be gem grade peridote, and collected about 500 grams in ten minutes!
On his return to NZ he showed them to me and gave me a nice bright
yellow one. I had it cut and mounted it in a 14 carat gold ring (all
I could afford) and gave it to Jean. She much later gave it to our
Cheers for now,
JohnB of Mapua, Nelson NZ