Sunday, May 8, 2011

Slab Sunday: Empress Green marble

After talking about the "Upside Down" kitchen countertops out of Empress Green marble on Thursday, I thought it only appropriate to feature it today for Slab Sunday. 
Empress Green is quarried in Taiwan.  It's actually not a true marble, it's technically a serpentinite.  Commercially in America it is sold as a marble though.
Here's a description of what serpentinite is from
"Serpentinite is common beneath the oceanic crust, where it forms by the alteration of the mantle rock peridotite. (See more about serpentinization and its importance in plate tectonics.) But it is seldom seen on land except in rocks from subduction zones, where oceanic rocks may be preserved.
Most people call it serpentine (SER-penteen) or serpentine rock, but serpentine is the set of minerals that make up serpentinite (ser-PENT-inite). It gets its name from its resemblance to snakeskin, with a mottled color, waxy or resinous luster and curving, polished surfaces. Serpentinite is a sexy rock.
Serpentinite is low in plant nutrients and high in toxic metals. Thus the vegetation on the so-called serpentine landscape is dramatically different from other plant communities, and serpentine barrens contain many specialized, endemic species."

Other names for Empress Green include Empress Jade and Taiwan Green.

Empress Green looks really beautiful when it is honed.  It looks more like a soapstone when it's honed, especially when there is enhancing sealer on it.

 Since Empress Green is a serpentinite it shouldn't etch like a real marble does, though I do highly recommend testing a sample from your exact slab to be sure (if etching is a concern).
Empress Green is available in 2 cm and 3 cm slabs.

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