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Connemara Marble: Ireland's Natural Gem

Jun 5, 2008
Just as its name implies, Connemara marble is found in only one place in the world. Connemara is located on the west coast if Ireland. It is also one of the most picturesque places in Ireland, with a landscape full of rugged wonder and beauty. The coastline is spectacular with myriads of coves, natural harbors, and rock formations.

Just inland is an area of 12 mountains, known as the "Twelve Bens." It is in this area that Connemara marble is found. The formation of this rock dates all the way back to the Pre-Cambrian ear. Limestone was subjected to intense amounts of heat and pressure, causing a metamorphism into marble. It is the presence of various natural elements in the limestone that gives Connemara marble its rich and beautiful colors. This beautiful marble offers a range of color tones. From the lighter, paler shades of green, all the way to rich dark emerald tones. How fitting for Ireland that one of its natural treasures is the only green marble known to exist!

Estimated to be approximately 600 million years old, Connemara marble is not only thought to be one of the world's oldest minerals, but it is also one of the rarest types of marble on the planet. Connemara marble is often referred to as "Ireland's gemstone" due to its beauty and the fact that Ireland is the sole source.

Connemara marble has found literally scores of uses throughout history. These include; spearheads, paperweights, jewelry, Celtic crosses, building fixtures (Trinity College, Kensington Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, etc.), rosary beads, cutting boards, a form of currency, and much, much more. With the introduction of improved cutting and finishing equipment, the ability to cut and polish thinner sheets of marble has vastly improved. These sheets are then used as tabletops, countertops, and decorative paneling. In fact, the uses for this beautiful marble are almost limitless. Connemara marble has also been a traditional gift of friendship between families.

When visiting the west coast of Ireland, be sure to take a trip to the town of Clifden. In and around this area, you'll find plenty of artisans who work almost exclusively with this treasured marble. Almost any item that can be made from marble will be available for sale or for special order. In addition, you'll also find some of the most spectacular scenery that Ireland has to offer, and an area rich and diverse in both culture and history.

Holding Connemara marble in your hand reminds you of the wonderful green hills and landscape of Ireland. It is a wonderful and treasured Irish gift - sure to prove a treasured memento to any recipient.
About the Author
Celtic By Design offers many wonderful and unique Irish gifts. To see the complete range of great Irish gift suggestions, please visit them online at www.CelticByDesign.com.
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