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MFA Acc. #: 72.575


A coarse-grain metamorphic rock with an irregular layered structure of varying mineral compositions and colors. Gneiss is similar in composition to granite but different in texture. In general, some bands are high in feldspar or quartz while others are higher in hornblende or mica. Gneiss stones are used in building construction and are often sold as granites.

Haupt Fountains Washington, D.C.

Synonyms and Related Terms

gneis (Esp.); gneiss (Fr., Ned.); gnaisse (Port.); Gneiss (Deut.)


  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • Frank A. Lent, Trade names and Descriptions of Marbles, Limestones, Sandstones, Granites and Other Building Stones Quarried in the United States Canada and other Countries., Stone Publishing Co, New York, 1925
  • R.F.Symmes, T.T.Harding, Paul Taylor, Rocks, Fossils and Gems, DK Publishing, Inc., New York City, 1997

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