If you were to ask those in the know what gemstone is Ireland most known for? The answer is surely going to be Connemara marble. Perhaps, you're wondering why is Connemara marble so famous? That's a great question that we're happy to answer. This lovely green marble is often used to create stunning Irish themed jewelry pieces. It's famous because of its history and its rarity. Let's explore that history a little bit more to give you a better understanding of what makes it such a treasured gemstone.
Millions of Years in the Making
Long before there was a land called Ireland, the earth was busy forming a collection of sediment and mineral deposits into beautiful bands of green colors. This all began happening about 600 million years ago, and during this creation phase, pressure from the earth combined with intense heat to create what would eventually be known as Connemara marble. It is named after the Connemara region located in Galway, where it was discovered by locals exploring the mountainous area. In Gaelic, the word Connemara means "inlets for the sea" and this definitely describes the lush green landscapes found in this region.
Early Uses of Connemara Marble
While there are a few examples of Connemara marble being mined and used as early as 5,000 years ago, the marble wasn't seriously mined until the early 1820s. That's when local quarries began mining and processing the marble to make it available for commercial use. Back then, it was mainly used to provide marble flooring, columns and decorative accents in churches, museums and government buildings. Examples of this use can be found in the Galway Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral and the Museum of Natural History in Oxford.
How Valuable Is It?
Is Connemara marble valuable? That's a common question, and the answer is yes. Unlike some other types of popular marble, there is a limited supply of this beautiful green hued marble, and this rarity increases its value. Remember this when you are considering giving someone a gift featuring this storied Irish gemstone.
Finding Authentic Connemara Jewelry
Because it is rare and highly valued it's important to find places that offer jewelry made with authentic Connemara jewelry. Some jewelry may appear to have the real thing but it's just an illusion. However, when you shop for jewelry at outlets such as Creative Irish Gifts, you can easily find jewelry items featuring this marble, and they are clearly labeled for fast identification. So, unless you see the word "Connemara," you should assume it's another kind of green stone.
Top 3 Connemara Jewelry Gift Ideas
The natural beauty of Connemara marble really shines through in the following jewelry pieces.
Connemara Celtic Cross Necklace. The entire cross of this pendant necklace is made up of separate marble pieces. The center section stands out because of its round shape and lighter green hue.
Tree of Life Connemara Necklace. A silver tree dangles inside of an open Irish marble circle. This necklace epitomizes the strong connection one can have with family while also symbolizing personal growth.
Connemara Stretch Bracelet. Smooth, round green marble beads are accented by a silver metal plate featuring words like hope, faith or joy.
Other Connemara Gifts