Limestone onyx

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An ornamental rock composed of Calcium carbonate in the form of calcite. Limestone onyx is obtained from stalactite and stalagmite formations frequently found in caves. Calcium carbonate is deposited in icicle-shaped masses from drops of mineral laden water. Although usually pure white in color, trace amounts of other minerals may add yellow, pink or green colors to the stone. Limestone onyx received its name because it exhibits either stripes or concentric circles when it is cut. Thin sheets of limestone alabaster are translucent and were used in ancient times for window panes.

Synonyms and Related Terms

stalactite; limestone alabaster; Egyptian alabaster; Algerian onyx; Morocco onyx; Pakistan onyx; Mexican onyx; tecali; onyx marble; Oriental alabaster; white onyx

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Luciana and Tiziano Mannoni, Marble: the history of a culture, Facts on File Publications