Commonly referred to as the Irish Gemstone, Connemara marble is a variety of marble found in Connemara, a region on the Atlantic coast in County Galway. As rare as it is beautiful, this marble, with its distinctly unique green colour, has become a staple gemstone used in Irish jewellery.
In this article we are going to take a closer look at the beauty of Connemara marble, how it was formed, and its legacy in the craft of jewellery making right across the island of Ireland.
Connemara Marble: A Rich History
Believe it or not, the ingredients of Connemara marble were first formed over 600 million years ago. Various sediments were deposited over time in a shallow and primal sea. The formidable forces of nature acted upon these sediments, resulting in the formation of mountainous regions in what we know today as the West of Ireland and Scotland.
Connemara marble is known across the globe for its ornate natural beauty and diverse palette of green shades. The colour green is prominent in the marble due to the presence of green serpentine and how it interacts with the chlorite, dolomite, and white calcite.
The Irish Gemstone
As mentioned above, Connemara marble is referred to around the world as the Irish Gemstone. This is due to both its origins in the West of Ireland and its unmistakable green appearance. Its distinct colouration and presence in County Galway mean it has become synonymous with Irish identity.
It is not uncommon for both men and women to wear jewellery or showcase souvenirs containing Connemara marble as either a representation of their Irish/Celtic heritage, or as a reminder of their time spent in the Emerald Isle.
A Jeweller’s Best Friend
For centuries, Connemara marble has been used to design and craft souvenirs, home decorations, and most commonly, stunning Irish jewellery. Interestingly the marble rapidly loses its colour when left to fight the natural elements and adverse weather conditions. For this reason, it’s virtually useless in terms of outside usage such as construction.
All the more marble for the jewellers of Ireland to enjoy!
The unique patterns and visually striking green colours found in Connemara marble makes it the perfect companion material in jewellery making. Its fine-grained structure means it can be easily influenced and shaped into different shapes and sizes depending on the desired result.
One particularly popular way that Connemara marble is used is to shape the marble into a spherical bead shape and use it in earrings and necklaces. However, the beauty of this material is that the possibilities are truly endless!
Connemara marble can be found in carefully crafted necklaces, personalised pendants, bracelets, rings, and earrings right across Ireland and abroad. Their overtly Celtic influence and Irish heritage make them a fantastic gift to a friend, a loved one, a family member, or even as a gift to yourself!
Of course, you don’t need to hail from Ireland to wear Connemara marble jewellery. Its beauty is for all to enjoy. We recommend a deep dive into our selection of Connemara marble infused jewellery; we promise you won’t be disappointed.
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