Asbestos is a general term for a group of fibrous silicate minerals belonging to the serpentine and amphibole classes. These minerals are characterized by their long, thin, and flexible fibers, which can easily separate and become airborne. Asbestos minerals are heat-resistant, chemically inert, and have excellent tensile strength, making them highly desirable for various industrial applications.


Historically, asbestos was widely used in a variety of applications due to its unique properties. It was commonly utilized for insulation, fireproofing, and soundproofing in buildings, as well as in the manufacturing of automotive parts, such as brake pads and clutches. Asbestos was also used in the production of cement, textiles, and various consumer products. However, due to its severe health risks, the use of asbestos has been banned or heavily regulated in many countries.


Asbestos is not considered a gemstone and is not used for jewelry or ornamental purposes due to its associated health hazards.


Asbestos minerals form through various geological processes, such as the metamorphism of ultramafic rocks for serpentine asbestos (chrysotile) and the metamorphism of iron- and magnesium-rich rocks for amphibole asbestos (amosite, crocidolite, and others). The formation of asbestos minerals typically occurs in veins or along the boundaries of rock formations.


Asbestos deposits can be found worldwide, with significant deposits located in Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Canada. The United States also has several naturally occurring asbestos deposits, mainly in California, Montana, and Vermont.


Asbestos does not have any widely recognized metaphysical properties due to its hazardous nature and associated health risks. It is not used in spiritual or metaphysical practices.

Hardness (Mohs)2.5 – 3
StreakWhite to pale green
CleavagePerfect in one direction
Specific Gravity2.5 – 2.6