Marble in ireland

Marble in ireland DEFAULT

Phase identification and Rietveld refinement of Connemara (Irish) marble


MarbleConnemara Marble is unique in the sense that it is only found in one place on earth - in Galway County on the scenic west coast of Ireland. Inland from this coastal region is a series of 12 mountains known as the 12 Bens. This is where the unique marble is quarried. A combination of different types of minerals is what makes this beautiful green marble so unique. Normally, marble is composed of a limestone (CaCO₃) mineral exposed to high temperatures and pressure causing a metamorphic change in the overall texture and appearance of the rock. However, in addition to containing a limestone mineral (calcite), there are 3 other phases belonging to the serpentine mineral family found in Connemara Marble. The main polymorphic forms are chrysotile, antigorite, and lizardite. X-ray diffraction is a viable technique to identify and pinpoint the exact phase of the serpentine family.


Figures 2 shows the specimens of Connemara marble that were pulverized and analyzed with the Rigaku's MiniFlex benchtop diffractometer.

pulverized marble

The obtained diffraction pattern and the results of phase identification are shown in Figure 3 and Table 1.

PXRD of marble on miniflex
Mineral Name
Chemical Formula
Reference #
Crystal Symmetry
Space Group
Wt %
LizarditeMg₃ (Si₂O₅(OH)₄)FIZ 23813TriclinicC138.2
CalciteCaCO₃FIZ 20179HexagonalR-3C44.5
Chlorite IIbMgFeSiAlOOHJCS 159TriclinicC115.1
DolomiteCa(Ca0.07Mg0.93)CO₃FIZ 152203HexagonalR-32.2
Table 1.

A Rietveld analysis was performed using the model obtained from these phases and quantitative results are shown in Table 1 and Fig 4 in the form of a pie chart.

PXRD quantitative results

Where can Marble be found in Ireland?

The Four Marbles of Ireland
  • Connemara marble is a green veined stone found only in the west of Ireland identified as the historical territory of Connemara.
  • Ulster white marble is found in Northern Ireland.

Click to see full answer.

Also question is, where can quartzite be found in Ireland?

In Ireland, quartzite is found in the counties Donegal and Wicklow. The quartzite within Donegal is a unique yellow to cream color.

Furthermore, what gemstones are found in Ireland? Colour

  • Red Ruby, Mozambique Garnet.
  • Pink Pink Sapphire, Rhodolite Garnet.
  • Yellow Yellow Sapphire, Citrine.
  • Green Emerald, Bloodstone, Jade, Peridot.
  • Blue Blue Sapphire, Aquamarine, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Spinel, Blue Zircon, Lapis.
  • Purple Amethyst, Tanzanite.

Keeping this in view, where is red marble found?

Marble is found in various places around the world, including India, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Italy, and the United States of America. Marble companies go to these places to find marble as enormous rocks in its natural state. Then, the marble is cut into slabs or smaller pieces to be used in construction or in art.

What is the stone of Ireland?

Connemara marble

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Discover Ireland Website

The mining of Connemara Marble is one of Ireland’s oldest indigenous industries. At Connemara Marble Visitor Centre, the marble is quarried, cut, shaped, and polished.

The Joyce family opened the Streamstown marble quarry in Clifden in 1822. Marble from here adorns the Galway Cathedral floor and the walls of the Senate Chamber of the State Capital Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Connemara Marble Centre offers the visitor an opportunity to purchase Connemara jewellery, gift items and to view the skilled master craftsmen at work cutting and polishing marble.

The shop provides Ireland's largest display of Connemara Marble jewellery, fashioned in gold and silver, depicting the shamrock, harp, Celtic cross and the Claddagh ring.

A large selection of marble gifts such as clocks, ashtrays, marble eggs, cheeseboards, paperweights and chess boards are also available.

Disabled access is also available.

MARBLE ARCH CAVES, Northern Ireland

Connemara marble

National gemstone of Ireland

An image of some slabs of connemara marble against a wall. Each slab has coloured swirls, the middle one stands out because the entire slab is moss green in colour.
The distinct green colour of the middle slab is a result of an abundance of serpentine minerals

Connemara marble or "Irish green" is a rare variety of marble found in Connemara, Ireland with a distinct green colour. It is commonly used as a gemstone and for decorations.[1][2] Due to its colouration, it is commonly associated with the Irish identity. It strongly resembles the verd antique found in the Mediterranean. It is named after the region in the western part of the country in which it is quarried (including Lissoughter in Recess, County Galway, and in Clifden).[3]


Connemara marble occurs as layers within the Connemara Marble Formation from the lower Dalradian Appin Group, part of the Connemara Metamorphic Complex. The parent rock was an impure siliceous dolomitic limestone deposited in a shelf environment on the continental margin of Laurentia. In the Grampian Orogeny it underwent silimanite grade metamorphism. Minerals formed at this stage were a variety of calc-silicates, including diopside, forsterite, tremolite, together with talc and chlorite. Subsequent metasomatism, probably associated with hydrothermal fluids from the late CaledonianGalwaygranites, altered the calc-silicates to minerals of the serpentine subgroup. The layers of marble are interbedded with schists and quartzites.[4]

As a marble, the most important mineral components are dolomite and calcite, supplemented with variable amounts of diopside, serpentine, tremolite, forsterite, clinochlore, phlogopite, omphacite and talc. [5][4] The colour is determined by the coloured mineral content, with serpentine responsible for the characteristic green colouration.

Connemara marble differs from the verd antiques in that it is an actual marble, rather than a serpentinitebreccia, despite also having a very high serpentine content.[3]


Connemara marble is used in souvenirs, jewellery and home decoration. It is not suitable for usage in outside construction as it rapidly loses its colouration due to weathering. It has been quarried since the 1700s, and has been exported throughout Europe and America to make columns, floors and other decorations.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Ireland. Mason Crest Publishers. 2006. p. 12. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  2. ^Geyer, Alan R. (1977). Building stones of Pennsylvania's capital area / Alan R. Geyer. Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey. p. 16. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  3. ^ abWyse Jackson, Patrick N.; Caulfield, Louise; Feely, Martin; Joyce, Ambrose; Parkes, Matthew A. (2019-01-23). "Connemara Marble, Co. Galway, Ireland: a Global Heritage Stone Resource proposal". Geological Society, London, Special Publications: SP486.6. doi:10.1144/SP486.6. ISSN 0305-8719.
  4. ^ abFeely, M.; Wilton, D.H.C.; Costanzo, A.; Kollar, A.D.; Goudie, D.J.; Joyce, A. (2019). "Mineral Liberation Analysis and Scanning Electron Microscopy of Connemara Marble: New Mineral Distribution Maps of an Iconic Irish Gem Material". The Journal of Gemmology. 36 (5): 346–354. doi:10.15506/JoG.2019.36.5.456.
  5. ^ abWyse Jackson, Patrick N.; Caulfield, Louise; Feely, Martin; Joyce, Ambrose; Parkes, Matthew A. (23 January 2019). "Connemara Marble, Co. Galway, Ireland: a Global Heritage Stone Resource proposal". Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 486. doi:10.1144/sp486.6.

Ireland marble in

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