Serpentine, so-named for its resemblance to snakeskin, comes in a variety of mottled shades, including green, yellow, white, brown and black. The stone is found throughout the world, and serpentine objects are known from ancient Egypt, India, and the Mayan empire. In larger blocks, it is popular for architectural adornment and is sometimes carved into vessels or cups. As an amulet, serpentine is believed to protect against the bites of venomous animals, especially snakes. It is also thought to draw toxins and poisons out of the body. Though its beauties are subtle, its history as adornment is very ancient. It is the ideal gem for those who understand that a whisper sometimes speaks louder than a shout.