Natural stones are any type of stone that can be found on Earth’s continental crust, or the outermost layer of our planet. As the creation of these materials occurred over a slow and diversified process that ran over millions of years, it won’t come as a surprise the sheer volume of different types of stones that can be found in nature, spanning from precious ones showcased in a jewellery shop, to the polished ones we step on, on a daily basis.
The three main types of natural stone found on earth are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic; this classification is dictated by how the stone was formed over the course of the years – or millennia – and gives us interesting and useful insights on the qualities of that specific natural stone.
Types of Natural Stones:
1. Igneous Stones
Igneous stones were formed through the cooling and solidification of molten lava, or magma, a process that made them high density, low porosity and quite hardy materials. The most common types of igneous stones are granite, basalt, or bluestone, and porphyry.
As a testament of its creation process, Bluestone usually displays pitting in its texture as gas bubbles are trapped during the lava cooling process.
2. Sedimentary Stones
Examples of sedimentary stones include limestone, travertine and sandstone. This means they were formed over time with the accumulation and subsequent cementation of layers of mineral and organic particles.
As the components forming these stones can vary from sand and mud to coral or molluscs skeletons, their overall appearance can be quite varied – for instance, sandstone, as the name suggests, is mostly formed by sand size particles and has a characteristic amber-tan to peachy-red colour while limestone, mainly formed by molluscs skeletons, tends to have a light colour and display little nicks and shells through its texture.
3. Metamorphic Stones
Metamorphic stones are the result of a transition from a precursor stone, which could have been igneous, sedimentary or an older metamorphic rock, to a new different type of stone through extreme heat and pressure, a process called metamorphism. Examples of metamorphic stones are marble , slate and quartz.
For instance, marble is Limestone that was once exposed to this process – white varieties of marble are the result of metamorphism of a very pure limestone while veined types are formed by impurities, such as clay, sand or iron oxide, that were originally present as grains or layers in the precursor limestone.
Slate is also a type of metamorphic stone, usually originating from a clay or volcanic ash sedimentary rock exposed to metamorphism. Our Arkkia crazy paving, pictured, is a spilt faced and irregular slate paving option that is highly durable and well suited for pathways, driveways, courtyards, pool environments or as garden paving.
Natural stones are an example of beauty, strength and uniqueness. Our focus is on sourcing only the best quality natural stone from around the globe and bringing you a vast range of sizes and formats that will inspire you and be a perfect match for your next project.
If you have any questions regarding natural stone or would like to enquire about one of our products, give our team at Artisan Exterior a call or visit our showrooms, located in Artarmon, Narellan and Fyshwick.