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Talcohlorit emerged several billion years ago as a result of a rare natural phenomenon. Under the high pressure (about 3 000 atmospheres) and in temperature of 400-500 °C talk and magnesite became bound firmly together and transformed into smooth but solid stone with unique physical characteristics and properties.
Soapstone is a mineral of rich grey color with a slight green touch. Usually, after manufacturing it gets lighter and resembles marble. The mineral got one of its names (soapstone) because it is soapy and slippery to the touch.
Originally, it was found in Eastern Finland. And although nowadays deposits of this mineral can be found all over the globe that vast majority of high-quality talcohlorit is mined in Northern countries. There are about a hundred of deposits in Finland. Moreover, one of the most extensive talcohlorit deposits is located in the Republic of Karelia.
Talcohlorit’s name says almost all about the chemical composition of the mineral. First of all, it contains talc and magnesite in nearly equal quantities that account for about 40-50%. Besides, soapstone consists of approximately 10% of chlorite, 5% of magnetite and some other opaque minerals.
Similar to shungite, it is chemical composition that defines primary physical characteristics of talcohlorit. For example, talc, as a soft mineral, makes soapstone easily sawn, shaped and carved. Due to high proportion of magnesite it has unique thermal conductivity (6.4 W/mK) and dense structure resulting in great solidity (2,980 kg/m³).
High density is considered to be one the major distinguishing features of soapstone. Thanks to it this mineral has great flexural strength. It comprises about 60% of the compression strength of talcohlorit which is not typical of other stones and minerals. Besides, unique structure of tillikivi prevents moisture and different chemicals from entering this stone. Therefore, it is resistant to chemical exposure and other external devastating impact. Even strong acids and alkalis cannot damage soapstone and weaken its strength properties, let alone common moisture.
Another distinct characteristic of soapstone that makes it so valuable is specific heat capacity. It is about 3 J/cm³K implying that this stone is quite heat resistant and it does not burn. Besides, after heating talcohlorit is capable of retaining the temperature for a long time. This mineral releases heat slowly and steadily unlike firebricks. Therefore, it is widely applied in construction and decoration of fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and different other heaters. Such fireplaces hold heat and radiate it slowly into the room. In a word, soapstone is your chance to create comfortable and warm atmosphere in your house.
It is also necessary to mention that soapstone heaters require shorter safety distance than other heaters since the surface temperature of the mineral remains low and is safe to touch even after intensive heating. So you can get relaxation and enjoyment without any danger.
Apart from this, thanks to heat capacity, nonporous structure and water repelling properties tiles and different panels made of tillikivi perfectly suit for decorating the walls and floors in showers, bath-houses and saunas where moisture and heat are common.
What is more important, soapstone is believed to be pure and eco-friendly mineral with antibacterial properties. So it is absolutely safe to use in your house as facing or coating material for walls and floors. Due to density of tillikivi and its nonporous structure it is durable and easy to clean. Besides, soapstone surfaces absorb noise and remain non-slip even in wet conditions which is also important for your safety and comfort. Thus, talcohlorit is perfectly suitable for wall decoration, hard flooring, tilling and different outdoor projects such as garden paths, for example.
Moreover, since soapstone is resistant to any external devastating impact it is used as a natural stone countertop in kitchens or laboratories instead of, for instance, marble. If you have talcohlorit countertop in your kitchen it will not be stained by wine, tomatoes or any other food. Even if some spots or scratches emerge you can easily remove them using just mild soap and water. Also you can place hot pots directly on it without any damage as tillikivi is heat resistant. However, you should take into account that soapstone is rather soft mineral and rough treatment can damage its surface. That’s why it cannot be used as workbench top in your kitchen and should be combined with some other stones, for example, marble or granite.
Since ancient time talcohlorit has been used for creating bowls, plates and other vessels. Soapstone’s cooking pots are popular because it absorbs heat readily and radiate it evenly to the dish. Besides, it retains the heat longer than metal pots and the contents of the pot keeps cooking even after removing from the stove. It is a perfect solution for the stew. In other words, soapstone is extremely valuable for prudent housekeepers.
One more extraordinary but quite common sphere of soapstone’s usage is cooling of whiskey and other liquors. Nowadays small soapstone cubes are used as whiskey stones. They are refrigerated and then put in a glass to chill the liquor. Unlike ice, talcohlorit cubes do not melt and do not dilute the drink. So you can keep you whiskey cold for more than 30 minutes without any compromise in its taste.
All the above mentioned areas of soapstone’s usage are based on the physical characteristics and properties of this mineral, but it also has some energetic ones. Since ancient times tillikivi has been considered as a magic stone. Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Native Americans used soapstone to create different amulets, bracelets, totems and protective figurines. Nowadays it is also widely applied for mineral therapy, massage and other therapeutic properties.
In this sense talcohlorit is considered to be the polar opposite of shungite. These minerals symbolize two opposite energy poles. Shungite is known as Yin harmonizer, while soapstone is Yang-harmonizer balancing the upper part of our energetic body. Thus, as you might have noticed in our product listings, typically the pair of shungite harmonizers is manufactured from shungite and talcohlorit. Unique combination of these minerals helps to reach the harmony making the life energy flow run smoothly through your body.
Hence, as you may see, talcohlorit is another proof of the fact that Northern Karelian nature provided us with many outstanding things having powerful impact on our body and soul. Don’t waste time and use soapstone to bring positive changes into your life.