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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Bleil

Connemara Marble from Ireland

Many of my ancestors were from Ireland. I celebrate the secular holiday of St. Patrick’s Day by eating, (sometimes baking), Irish soda bread and going to a parade in nearby Holyoke, Massachusetts.  The St. Patrick’s Day parade there is led by newly crowned Colleens wearing their gowns and tiaras and waving to the crowds. It lasts hours and has everything you could ever want in a parade; fire trucks (my fave), bagpipers in their plaid kilts, and so much more.

I love the art and jewelry of Ireland.  Much of it features the famous and rare green Connemara Marble from County Galway because it is the National Stone of Ireland. It is an opaque stone that is no longer being mined thereby increasing its value. It is a true marble, one of four found in Ireland.  According to, “It is a calcite marble with large amounts of serpentine.  The marble forms when limestone is heated under pressure.  While the color is predominantly green, there are often shades of gray and brown seen throughout.  Formed from sediment deposited in a shallow primal sea over 900 million years ago.”  Named for the regions in which they are found, the other three marbles are black Kilkenny marble, red Cork marble, and white Ulster marble (  To learn more about this marble from the Galway Geological Association click here.  

The metaphysical properties of Connemara marble include peace, tranquility, restoration and healing (

Connemara marble is only found in Ireland, but there are many other natural stones found there as well.  John Bett’s website has a photographic museum of gemstones from Ireland numbering 218.  To see his museum,  click here.

I found myself on the fascinating website of the geological survey of Ireland.  I learned that Ireland was once on two separate continents.  I also learned that  minerals mined there include gypsum, copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold and platinum.  To learn more about these minerals, click here.

There are numerous natural stones found in Ireland.  Their Heritage Stone, the green Connemara marble, is the most famous and found in jewelry and in building materials.  However, there are many fascinating aspects of the geology of Ireland to explore. 

I hope you enjoy St. Patrick's Day!

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Mar 17

I'm always impressed by your knowledge of gems and stones. I'm still at the "Ooh, pretty!" stage.

Cynthia Bleil
Cynthia Bleil
Mar 18
Replying to

Thank you! I have been collecting and learning about gems and minerals since my childhood. Thank you for reading my blog and for your comment, Coaster.

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