Soapstone, sometimes called soap rock or by its actual name of steatite is actually a metamorphic rock composed of the minerals talc and schist. It forms in tectonic zones where plates are subducted, the heat and pressure along with fluids alters the rock but does not melt it, resulting in soapstone, this metamorphic process is known as dynamothermal metamorphism. These particular specimens were collected by staff and come from Otta in central Norway, they may contain amouts of calcite and quartz. Being composed of talc, samples do exhibit a greasy texture and the schist present provides a shimmering metallic lustre and a crystalline texture which is green in colour, likely due to the presence of chlorite. Used through out centuries as stone for carving due to its soft texture and easy to manipulate nature many artifacts that you may have seen in museums are likely carved from soapstone, modern day uses include marking in industrial works due to its high resistance to heat. Samples are available in various sizes and will come supplied in a card tray with an infomration label.