In recent years, green natural stone has been making a gradual comeback in terms of interior decoration. There was a time when green floors were very popular in American homes. In the 1970s, quite a few homeowners chose green tiles for their floors, but they were often made of vinyl or ceramic engineered to look like natural green stone.
Even though green is a very abundant color in nature, it is not so commonly found on the Earth’s rocky surface, at least not on the portion that can be quarried. The natural stone that is most likely to be green is called serpentinite, and it is mostly found at the bottom of the ocean. Only a few quarries around the world specialize in extracting this gorgeous stone. Other stones such as marble, granite, and soapstone may exhibit some green veins, swirls, hues and textures, but they are less likely to occur.
Here are a few interesting facts about green natural stones.
This stone is the result of a geological process that constantly takes place below the oceanic crust and begins when magma mixes with molten iron and starts to rise toward the crust. At this point, the mineralization of magnesium and iron turns bright green. The snake-like veins and texture of serpentinite are formed right before the stone reaches the surface. The Romans discovered serpentinite quarries in Greece and around the Piedmont region. They quickly realized this exotic stone was not as abundant as marble or limestone, which explains why it was mostly used for sculptures, altars, and decorative columns.
Homeowners looking for subtle, almost pastel greens should shop around for green soapstone. For the most part, green soapstone comes in light emerald, blueish, and faint turquoise coloration. This is a delicate stone that requires careful maintenance, but its unique look is certainly worth it. Though frequent applications of a granite sealer such as Granite Gold Sealer® is recommended with other types of natural stone, with soapstone you should instead apply heavy coats of food-grade mineral oil every six months.
Fine green streaks or swirls on mostly white marble are attractive, but the same cannot be said about larger green veins. Green marble is not very attractive, but there is a beautiful exception: Swedish green marble extracted from quarries in southern Sweden. The veining of Swedish green marble is exquisite and can be found in a few palaces and opera houses across Europe. Swedish diplomatic missions have donated installations of this pretty marble as a gesture of international goodwill. It is interesting to note that “green marble” from the Connemara region of Ireland is actually serpentinite.
Quite a few granite quarries in Canada and Brazil feature abundant green rock formations. When blocks are cut from these geologic structures, the veining can be surprising. Verde Tortuga granite looks like the shell of a sea turtle. It is very pretty and durable due to its high quartz mineral content.
If you’re interested in learning more about granite care, get in touch with the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on all types of natural stone, including granite, marble, and soapstone. Call 1-800-475-STONE today to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.