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ADVICE WANTED!   July 31, 2002
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characteristics of specific marble

specific granite, specific marble, other stones

Q 2358: Do you know the chemical analysis of Bianco Pi Marble so that I can distinguish with different white marbles? Best Regards, Alcides, USA. July 31,
R1: The Bianco Pi Marble comes from Carrara and was made famous in Italy, the unique deposit in Carrara has completely been used after thousands of years of production. This material is excellent for making sculptures because of its white pureness and crystal like appearance.
Q 2350: Hello, I have chosen a Marble that goes by the name "Marron Imperial" is a very nice mix of browns that caught my eye and is being used for Vanities in a Master bath. Can you please comment on the quality of this Marble for the purpose mentioned? I would also like to thank you in for the very much appreciated well done job of sharing your knowledge with all of us. Sincerely, Hector, July 30,
R1: Dear Hector: Excellent! Take good care of it, though! Maurizio, USA,
Q 2293: Hi, I have recently gone out to find a suitable top for my bath vanities and came across a Marble that caught my eye because of the colors and shades. "GIALLO VALENZIANO". Can someone tell me if it is a good choice for the job? If so can you tell me the steps to follow to seal, protect etc, if needed? Thank you in advance to anyone with answers. I have been fascinated with the amount of useful info in this site. Keep it up. Sincerely, Hector M. July 25,
R1: Dear Hector: Giallo Valenziano is a good choice. As most marbles don't need to be
sealed, especially considering that's going to be installed on top of a vanity cabinet (you're not going to spill coffee or cooking oil onto it and let them sit for a couple for hours or so, are you?) Just be careful about perfumes and other fragrances, and, of course, the selection of the proper cleaning agents. Maurizio, USA,
Q 2264: Can you guide me why Makarana marble is considered better than that of Kishangarh or other mines? What are the major qualities of Makrana stone which makes it most sought after stone. Thanks, Shyaam, India, July 19,
R1: I am a contemporary sculptor working on white & black marble. I live in Rajasthan. Makrana marble is a calcium carbonate & it is chemically different than other marbles. It will not get yellow & the whiteness is long lasting. The chemical structure is so nicely blend that it's very strong yet easy to carve with normal chisel. 
Kishangarh marble is very porous & will get yellow & sometimes develop cracks after the flooring is completed. Best regards, Ankit, India.
Q 2213: I have selected Italian Botticino for the flooring of my sitting and dining area. Will this stone wear well? Also for the bedrooms is an Indian marble called Pearl White suitable? My Contractor says that this marble absorbs water while being laid and develops prominent cracks along veins. I am confused as this stone seems to be used extensively in India for flooring. Thanks and Regards, Kalpana, July 12,
R1: Dear Kalpana: While I have no comment about the Pearl White marble you mentioned (I just don't know the stone), the Italian Botticino is an excellent compact limestone, very hard and dense. Of course, you do not want to install it polished in your sitting and dining area, but if it has a hone finish you will enjoy it for many years to come. Maurizio, USA,
A 1930: Please give me some honest info! I initially was going to get Travertine for my living / dining room. Then I found a Cream of Marfil Ivory at the same price, which I really liked. Then I so a Breccia Beige that I thought I liked, but once I brought it home, I'm not so sure about it. 
Which is more popular/appreciated/expensive/desirable? 
Which is more appropriate for a 1 bedroom condo?
What would be the pros/cons of the 2?
PLEASE HELP SOON! Monica, May 19,
R1: Dear Monica: No particular pros and cons. They are all good stones. Choose the one you like best. Maurizio, USA
A 1700: I am interested in any comments on the suitability of green marble for a bathroom countertop and a shower stall. The particular marbles which have attracted my attention are Verde Antique, from Vermont, and Verde Mare, from Guatemala. I have taken samples of both and subjected them to lemon juice and a Swiss Army knife. I am impressed with the performance of both. Neither shows evidence of etching after exposure to drops of lemon juice left on for several minutes. The Verde Antique is extremely difficult to scratch, the Verde Mare can be scratched, but only after considerable effort. How will these marbles hold up in real life use in a bathroom? Barry, April 14.
R2: Dear Barry, his is a great example of the confusion that can occur with names of stone.
My initial reaction to your Verde Mare was that you could have confused it with the Verde Mare that I know which is an attractive green garnet gneiss (charnockite) that used to be quarried 28km east of Pietermaritzburg in Kwazulu Province (near Durban). The specs of this charnockite are quite good and it has been used as external cladding on commercial buildings. Then there is also a serpentinite from Italy in Valmalenco which is used for cladding and ornamental application. It used to be quarried by traditional methods but because it is in short supply it is now quarried with diamond wire.
Then there is a man-made agglomerate by the same name consisting of about 95% marble chips bound together by polyester resin. Your Verde Mare is indeed sourced from Guatemala and is a dark green stone that is included under the umbrella of marbles in the stone trade. It is a serpentinite
characterized by oriented minerals and lots of small to prominent white veinlets, presumably of a carbonate. It also has many small brittle fractures which require the slabs to be reinforced. The situation with Verde Antique from Vermont is less confusing with only one other contender for the same name (from Canada). This stone is another peridotite that has been altered to serpentinite. Unfortunately, the technical information that the suppliers provide is quite inconsistent in that they claim that the stone has the hardness of most granites (just over 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness) with constituent minerals that are related to talc (hardness 1) and chlorite (hardness around 2.5). Clearly the suppliers of this stone need a decent petrographic analysis done to include with their information. It does appear to be suitable for countertops and ornamental applications. Both "marbles" are probably suitable for bathrooms although I would obtain a little more scientific information(at relatively small expense) on the mineralogy of these stones to assess their longer term dimensional stability. (Dr. Hans), Australia
R1: Dear Barry: They would hold-up wonderfully, indeed!! Verde Antique is the best green that money can buy, but the other one is pretty darn good, too. Maurizio, USA
A 1557: I saw the marble Rojo Alicante and loved it. Now my builder tells me its grade D and "no good". Please advise me with all that you know. Its for my bathroom vanity tops. What should I do??? Thanks, Gina, March 20,
R2: Use it if you like it. In a bathroom with proper fabrication and installation, it will be fine. When you get it, learn how to care for it. Regards, Steven, USA 
R1: Dear Gina, Rojo Alicante is beautiful to look at and stunning as a wall tile.  It's weaknesses are high traffic areas and exposure to wet/dry cycles.  The stone has stylolites (filled or partially filled veins) that are often filled with sensitive clay type minerals that may soften or deteriorate and leave gaps in the veins that need to be filled.  Being a calcite based stone, it is relatively soft compared to granite so scratches and loss of polish are a greater  issue as well as susceptibility to stains from acidic solutions.  but still, it is lovely to look at!Regards Jim, Australia
A 1332: I am in the process of evaluating marble for usage in the flooring of my apartment. Have got variable inputs from various dealers. Some suggest that the Indo Italian marble, though better in looks and texture, is very soft and could wear out pretty soon compared to the Indian Makhrana White marble. Needed some technical assistance on this issue. Rajshekaran, India, Jan 15.
R2: Dear Rajasekharan: 
First off, I don't quite understand the meaning of Indo Italian, but I guess that you're making reference to the all the types of marble coming from Italy that are known there in your country as "Italian marble". Your dealer is right and wrong at the same time. Wrong, because under the classification of "Italian marbles" there is a huge variety of stones, processed in Italy, but coming from all over the world; therefore, most of them are, in fact, harder than the Indian Makhrana. He is right, however, in stating that the Indian marble (that, in fact, is a dolomitic stone) would be easier to maintain. First off, its chemistry makes it more resistant to chemical alterations than most "Italian marbles". Second, It typically doesn't come so highly polished. I personally love that stone! If memory serves me right, that's what the Taj Mahal is made of! 
Maurizio, USA.
R1: Dear Mr. Rajasekharan, It is very difficult to compare the two qualities of Marble you have chosen. Indo-Italian is a fine marble BUT is soft as already suggested to you, whereas Makrana Marble is much harder and gives a better life. You may have difficulty in selecting the Makrana Marble of your choice as I believe you are looking for a white marble with minimum black coloration / stripes. I would suggest that you go for a Makrana Marble for a longer life but please do not compromise on the aesthetics. A house is made only once in a lifetime. Even very soft marble can be hardened using chemicals and (most of the Italian Marble slabs are resin impregnated). Feel free to select the stone and we are there to help you in providing the necessary materials/chemicals to make the stone usable and to give a good life. Regards Arun, India.
A 1318: I am trying to locate a resource which can provide the Absorption Percentage for Carrara Marble. If there is a range of absorption rates I am interested in the Lighter of the Carrara Marble. We are interested in lining a Baptismal Font with the stone, however can not confirm that the material properties of Carrara are suitable. Thank you for any information you can provide. Jonathan, Architect. Jan 10.
R2: I cannot provide you with the information on the absorption rate of Carrara Marble. However, I can provide you with information on the application of the Waterproof Membrane in the font. Art, USA
R1: Dear Jonathan: It's not as much the rate of absorbency of the White Carrara marble that you should be concerned about (it could be easily controlled with a good-quality impregnator sealer), but its chemical makeup. There's quite a bit of iron mineral within this particular type of stone, and if for any chance the water finds its way (even slightly) behind it (through the seams), it will turn yellow because of the consequent oxidation of the iron (rust). Many a white marble have inherently that problem. I would advise to reconsider the color. Maurizio, USA
A 1288: Which class of marble is Perlato Sicilia? Nikesh, Nepal, Jan 1.
R1: "Perlato Sicilia", "Perlato Royal" (the latter allegedly being a better selection) is a compact limestone that's quarried in the island of Sicily, Italy. It's very hard and dense, it takes a very high polish, and shows several fossiles throughout its texture. It's usually a class "B" (at best), or "C" marble. On a personal note I love that stone. Too bad that in the past 6 or 7 years it went out of fashion here in the USA (at least in the North East). Ciao, Maurizio, USA.

A 1276: Referring to 1270, thank you for for remarks. What is the difference between serpentine and orphicalcite green marble? I just know I saw here in Belgium in a showroom some very nice tile, a little bit translucent green marble with no white veins, called Rajasthan green, I think most looking like Imperial Green on the website of FindStone. As I go again to Rajasthan for holidays, I plan to search for producers of green marble. Do you think you can combine marble with sandstone in one floor 40 x40 green, with little red stone in the corner of 4 green stones? Any comment is welcome. Marc, Belgium, Dec 22.
R1: Dear Marc: You're really serious about getting in the stone business, aren't you! Well, welcome and good luck, my friend. I wish you the best! Most green marble are serpentine (Magnesium Silicate). The only green ophicalcite I know of is the Italian "Verde Alpi", but there maybe more. The main component is still serpentine, with the addition of gabbro and calcite. Ophicalcite can come in a color different than green, i.e.: Rosso Levanto, Cipollino, and the Valle D'Aosta so-called "Onyx of Chatillon". Ciao, Maurizio, USA,
A 1267: I'm looking for technical properties of Greek White Thassos marble. Is it good to use it one the outside. Dec 16
R2: Bharat, any marble that is as white as thassos would not be suitable for outdoor applications. Try to find a product like travertine from Mexico that is tumbled. Best regards Steven, USA,
R1: White Thassos is a dolomitic marble from Greece. It's more acid-resistant than most marbles, but I still judge it a poor choice for outdoors installations. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, USA,
A 1237: I must openly admit to you that I am no bag of money, working on little more than a whim or sudden fancy.  However, if you have time to satisfy my curiosity, please answer my questions. I have recently been informed of Pentalic Marble, and how it beautifully changes color as the sun's light shifts.  I do not see this stone on your site. What other stones have these properties?  How much do they cost (I leave the unit of purchase to your greater experience)? Ian, Dec 4,
R1: The only marble I know is Pentalic marble. This is a native Greek marble that buildings like the Parthenon are built from. As for changing colors, I have never heard of it doing that. Best regards, Steven, USA
Steven: Pentalic marble does not change color itself, like a chameleon, but it is particularly apt at reflecting different shades of sunlight for the most beautiful result. Ian

A 1016: Would you be so kind to send me the petrographic and petrologic analysis of Hermes Dark? Gomes, Portugal, June 21.

R1: Dear Gomes, Hermes dark is limestone (marble s.l.) partly brecciated with paralel stylolithes. It contains calcite, little limonite, organic material, maybe some dolomite. Compressive strength: 77MPa. Absorption
coefficient: 0.18%. Volumetric weight: 2.7. Daniel, Slovakia,

A 1203: Can you help me? I would like to know general characteristics about Rosa Levante and Rosa Gerona marbles: are those marbles or limestones? What's their colour and if they presents a large variability of colours, what are their exact locations, why Rosa Gerona got this name if it isn't from Gerona?, about their fossil contents, and about their geological age, if it's possible. I'll be really grateful if you can answer about it. Many thanks, Marta, Spain, Nov 21. A 962: Hi! I am after as much information, about Carrara Marble from Italy.  Sincerely, Christine, Australia, April 19. .

R1: Dear Christine from downunder: Your question is too wide. I might be able to help you if you can be a
little be more specific about what you want to know on the subject of Carrara Marble, that is, if you want some boring scientific stuff, or more practical information, such as the different types, what the proper use of it, etc.
Let me know, I can give you both. Maurizio, USA

Q 994: What are the chemical and mechanical characteristics of Crema Valencia Marble? Mohamed, Egypt. June 3 reply
R1: CREMA VALENCIA limestone (or marble s.l.) from Spain
Mechanical characteristics:
Compressive strength 70.6 MPa
Flexural strength 12.6 MPa
Porosity 0.09%
Coefficient of absorption 0.23 - 0.25%
Volumetric weight 2.71 g/cm3
Impact strength 40 - 41cm
Friction wear resistance 2.73mm
Chemical characteristics: calcium carbonate (mineral calcite), small amount of ferric hydrooxide
(mineral limonite).
Daniel, Slovakia Contact

A 956: Hello! I'm doing research on the mineralogical content of verde butterfly (for a college class) and I was wondering if you could tell me where in the world (specific mine locations if possible) this granite I mined so that I can determine where it is formed. Thanks so much, Amelia, USA, April 9. Reply
R1: VERDE BUTTERFLY comes from Brasil
Mineral Composition:
Orthoclase (Perthitic) - 50/60% 
Plagioclase (Andesine) - 20/25% 
Quartz - 15/20% 
Pyroxenes - < 5% 
Garnet < 5% 
Biotite, Apatite, Zircon, Opaque Minerals,
Sericite, Carbonate, Phyllosilicates Tr
Petrographic Classification:
 Charnockite (Hypersthene Monzogranite).
Daniel, Slovakia

Q 922: I recently bought a brand new apartment which has marble flooring in the living room. I was told that the marble is from the Botticino family. All the tiles have what I would call cracks in layman's terms; in some areas they are quite obvious and in other areas, they are more minute and "hairline". My question is, are those really cracks or are they "natural" and inherent in this type of marble? Should I accept the tiles as they are? Sabrina, Singapore, March 30.

R1: There is not much of a "family" when it comes to "Botticino" marble. There are three types and three types only of the stuff: "Classico" (the best); "Semi-Classico" (the second best); "Fiorito" (the third best). No other marble from this planet can be classified as "from the Botticino family". All that said, Botticino marble has no obvious cracks, and only a limited amount of "hairlines" cracks (natural fissures). Usually one has to go down on hand and knees to see them. Whether you should accept the selection that you have is not up to me to say
(besides, I don't even know what kind of marble you actually have). In the stone industry, unfortunately, there is not an official, mandatory grading (like in the case of lumber), therefore there are no official standards one can make reference to. Sorry, it's just too bad. Good luck, Maurizio, USA.

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