The common alteration assemblage produced by serpentinization of ultramafic rocks is: lizardite, chrysotile, magnetite±brucite±antigorite. Lizardite-chrysotile serpentinites are more common than antigorite; the presence of antigorite indicates that the serpentinite has undergone prograde metamorphism or that the periootite was serpentinized in a higher P,T regime than lizardite and chrysotile. The iron subsitution into serpentine minerals and brucite is a function of temperature at low f O 2, with increased temperature enhancing magnetite formation. The presence of awaruite and native Fe are strong evidence for a locally very reducing environment. Isotopic studies have shown a wide variety of origins for the fluids involved in serpentinization. The increased boron content of serpentinized rocks when compared to boron contents of the parent ultramafic body indicates a possible sea water origin for the fluids. Serpentinization takes place under both constant volume and constant chemical composition conditions. The factors in evaluating the importance of the two processes for an individual serpentinite are: (1) determination of the mineral assemblage and its paragenesis, (2) the structural and tectonic relationship of the ultramafic body to its country rock, (3) fluid access to the rock in duration and amount, and (4) timing of serpentinization - before, during or after emplacement into the crust.