Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stonewise: Connemara Marble

Today is Happy Irish Heritage Day (at least for me, for others it's St. Patrick's Day, though for most I'm thinking it's just Drink Bear Till you Pass Out Day...)

In any case, I thought I would talk a little bit about Connemara Marble, since it is one of the finest marbles in the world, and is uniquely Irish!

Ardriana doesn't have anything to say (yet) about Connemara, so I had to go do some digging of my own...

From, "Why is Ireland called the Emerald Isle?"

"One of the oldest natural minerals in Ireland is also green. Connemara marble is thought to be about 600 million years old in geological terms. It is found in the Connemara Mountains in the west of Ireland, and was first mined during the 1800s. In addition to gracing buildings, Connemara marble is used to fashion jewelry, rosary beads, giftware and souvenirs."

Other tid bits I found along the way...

"It is said to bring serenity to those who keep it close."

"Connemara marble has also been a traditional gift of friendship between families."

I have a disk of Connemara, about 3" across, with a hole in the center that I used to wear in my hair, tied by a green ribbon or a length of rattail. My Mother gave it to me when I was 12 or 13, and it's always been one of my connections to Ireland, and my Irish Heritage. After my Mother died, it became a connection to her as well, as it was one of the last things she gave to me. (Funny was a free gift she'd gotten after ordering something from a catalog for me. She gave it to me "just cuz", and it's become one of my more special treasures.)

I wasn't able to find any real folklore or magickal lore about the marble, but it remains to this day one of the more prized marbles in the world, ranking up there with the sparkling white marble of Italy or Greece. It's one of the natural treasures of Ireland, and just more proof that there are indeed a thousand shade of green on the Emerald Isle (there really are! I seen 'em!).

I haven't used any in my jewelry, though I might now that I've found a place that sells beads (>:D)! To me this stone is all about family, ancestry, history and cultural identity. Yes...if you haven't guessed by now, I'm a teeny bit Irish...

Éireann go Brách,
Bhen Rudha

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