These figures, however fail to reflect two very important factors: The quality of Spanish marble and the growing sophistication of the natural stone sector in Spain. Joined, these two factors contribute to the commercialization of a truly unique product in the natural stone market.
Marble has been valued for thousands of years for its rich palette of beautiful colors and appearance and is perfect, pretty much anywhere in the house. Marble stones consist of limestone that has undergone heat and pressure. A transformation process takes place when the weight of overlying material, pressure from crystal collisions and heat from the earth's core generate temperatures in excess of 1800ºF.Texture of marble depends on the form, size and uniformity of grains. The element components of marble determine the color of the stone. Generally calcite and dolomite marbles are of pure white color. Variations of whiteness of pure marbles are due to the mixture of foreign substances. Such impurities form streaks and clouds.
Within the Spanish stone sector, the Alicante province and surrounding areas represent, by far the most important geographical region. The four principal types of marble extracted in the Alicante region are:
The marble Crema Marfil or "Ivory Cream" is extracted from the quarry Coto Pinoso in the town of Pinoso in Alicante. This stone's homogenous ivory color and exceptional physical qualities have earned it an important place in the product catalogs of the principal marble exporters of the region.
In Pinoso there is an estimated area of 12 square kilometers of mountain formed by crema marfil marble. Of these 12 square kilometers 8 are found in the Monte Coto quarry with a minimum estimated depth of 50 meters of stone. The stone is extracted by making vertical cuts 6 meters high over a horizontal base which are then allowed to fall onto a soft earth bed. There the stones are cut into standard marble blocks between 6 and 7 cubic meters a piece.
In the end of the process, the volume of standard blocks represents between 15 and 20% of the quarried stone. The remaining volume of material is then used in auxiliary commercial uses as marble gravel and dust.
Crema Marfil marble combines exceptionally well with Rojo Alicante forming spectacular contrasts and combinations.
The second most recognized class of alicante marble is Rojo Alicante or "Alicante Red". Thanks to it's remarkable aesthetic properties it is well suited for creating luxurious environments. This stone has a very low porosity and graciously withstands alterations due to temperature changes and environmental factors.
The deposits of Rojo Alicante are found slightly south of the highway which joins the town of La Romana and La Algueña and in the Coto de Cavarrasa in the town of Monóvar.
Rojo Alicante is well known for its elegance, distinction and versatility. This red marble stone can be presented in many different finishes including polished, tumbled and bubbled.
Although it can be used in a multitude of different settings, Rojo Alicante is especially well suited for interiors. Principally available for flooring, staircases and artistic uses, this natural stone material combines wonderfully with the other Alicante marbles such as crema marfil and piedra bateig.
The marble Marrón Imperial or "Imperial Brown" is known for its characteristic deep brown color filled with light yellow spots and veins. This is one of the best known Spanish marbles and due to its luxurious color and patterns is used frequently to add an exclusive touch to any design.
This stone is currently quarried in the area around Yecla in the province of Murcia near the Alicante border and is extracted in enormous compact blocks. Marron Imperial adapts well to all types of finishes both polished and matte. It is also frequently used as a component of artificial stone mixtures based on hardened resins.
Because of its deep profound color, Marron Imperial is exceptionally well suited to being combined with crema marfil or other pale marbles.
The stone Piedra Bateig or "Bateig Stone" is named after the mount Bateig between the towns of Elda and Novelda. This stone is extracted in large blocks of four different denominations: Bateig Azul (Blue), Bateig Beig (Beige), Bateig Fantasy (with biogenic strata) and Bateig Galaxy.
Piedra Bateig isn't technically a marble, but rather a biocalcaranyte which is considerably more porous. It has been used as a construction material in the Novelda region since the thirteenth century and is the primary material used to build the Agriculture Ministry of Spain in Madrid and the famous Telefonica building in the Gran Vía of Madrid.
Piedra Bateig in all of its varieties is known for its uniform texture and its enormous resistance to extreme temperature changes.
By far the most substantial use for Alicante marble is for construction purposes. Marble can be employed for floors, staircases, interior and exterior walls and for innumerable types of fixtures for bathrooms, fireplaces and ornamental purposes.