Sophisticated with glassy transparency in purple shades. A feminine gemstone par excellence and a traditional symbol of virginity whose name comes from the myth of Bacchus, the ancient god of wine who fell in love with a beautiful nymph of Diana named Amethyst. To protect her from Bacchus, Diana transformed Amethyst into a transparent glass, on which Bacchus poured out a glass of red wine in anger.
Main quarries: Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, India, Russia, Mexico, USA and Madagascar.
Unpredictable alternations of dark red and yellow ocher with rare white intrusions. The uniqueness of its quarry of origin and the great difficulty of its extraction have made jasper a valuable material for the construction of churches and palaces. The great Baroque sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, chose this marble to create his funerary masterpiece, The Ecstasy of the Blessed Ludovica Albertoni.
Main quarry: Sicily, Italy
Clasps of burnished red with mottled green serpentine and fine veins of white sculpt a tenaciously uneven breccia. The liveliness of these blood tones are found in centuries-old churches and palaces along the Italian riviera.
Main quarry: La Spezia, Italy
[The main entrance of the Church of Saint Lawrence in Genoa]
Resolute contrasts of pure white and jet black. The boldness of the irregular monochromatic mottling of marmor celticum was already widely appreciated in the Roman and Byzantine periods. And it was with this precious marble that some of the world's most monumental architecture was created: from the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul to the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, from Westminster Abbey to St. Peter’s, from the salons of Versailles to the halls of the Invalides.
Main quarry: Aubert, France
A fine web of light with an illusion of three dimensionality. The glitter depicts an elegant play of shadows and holographic effects. Inside the white body of the stone, there is a surprising preciousness of blue and black opal.
Main quarries: Canada, Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, Scandinavia, Russia and the USA