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If you’re ever feeling old beyond your years, just remember that Connemara marble is over 600 million years old so you’re not doing too badly.
Connemara is a region just outside Galway city in the West of Ireland. It’s home to Irish-speaking communities, rare flora and fauna and Connemara marble. Our marble is one of the rarest marbles in the world. An abundance of serpentine results in various green colours in the stone, making it an unofficial symbol of Ireland and the Emerald Isle. Some people call it our “National Gemstone”.
As the marble is increasingly rare, the mining of the marble is limited to a few quarries in Connemara. These quarries are close to exhaustion and the supply will soon become very limited. The marble has been used for decorative purposes since the ancient times but as well as the Celts doing up their kitchens, the stone is used in jewellery and art. The range of colours from light grey-green to deep vibrant greens is special and results in some stunning pieces.
The feedback I get from customers is that they like keeping a small piece of Ireland with them, whether that’s by wearing Connemara marble jewellery, using a Connemara marble keyring or even decorating their Christmas tree with Connemara marble decorations.
A few years ago our local rugby team, Connacht Rugby, got a new Chief Coach. Pat Lam is a man from the opposite side of the world but recognised a very symbolic stone. He was looking for something to inspire his players to remember their West of Ireland roots.
After some conversations we suggested using a polished marble pebble as a pendant to be worn around the neck. He seized on the idea immediately and soon all the players were wearing a piece of Connemara Marble. He further reinforced the symbol by saying that Connacht is regarded as one of the smallest teams in Ireland, this might be so but David was able to slay Goliath with a slingshot and pebble. He asked the players to remember where they represented and that great feats are possible from people that are underestimated.
We like to think that this helped Connacht go on a couple of years later and win the Pro 12 Championship and to play a brand of rugby that is exciting and effective.
Check out our website www.galwaybaygifts.com to find the best of Connemara Marble.