Yellow Siena Marble: an Italian Stone with an Intense Color

yellow siena marble giallo

Yellow Siena marbleis a stone with a predominantly dark yellow background, with veins ranging from ivory to light yellow. This yellow marblehas been appreciated since ancient times and has always been used in coatings and in the creation of both decorative objects and jewelry.

giallo siena marble and portoro

Characteristics of Yellow Siena Marble

Yellow Siena marbleis one of the best known natural stones in Italy. Among the various types that are extracted, the most characteristic one has a fairly intense ocher yellow color, mainly due to the presence of iron oxides in the marble, in particular in the form of minerals such as goethite and limonite.

In fact, the term ocher derives from the Greek and means yellow, while in mineralogy it designates a pigment obtained from the processing of earthy varieties of limonite and hematite.

Generally, the background color of this metamorphic rock is intense yellow but can vary towards a duller yellow, interrupted by veins and patches ranging from lighter yellow, tending to white and gray, or even very dark yellow, like the typical Sienna color.

The Types of Yellow Siena Marble

In the territory of Montagnola Senese, various types of carbonate rocks are extracted originating from marine limestones in the lower Jurassic period, or about 200-175 million years ago, including some with the typical Siena yellow color like giallo Siena marble.

In the following paragraphs we will see in detail the variants of yellow Siena marble, much appreciated for its warm and cheerful color.

To delve into the subject of the yellow marbles extracted in the area of Montagnola Senese, we refer to the study of Dr. Sonia Mugnaini, available in italian language on the website of the Natural History Museum of the Accademia dei Fisiocritici of Siena.

Siena Yellow Marble – Brocatello Yellow (or Antique Yellow)

Broccatello yellow marbleis the finest variety of giallo Siena marble. Its tones are very deep and the appearance is typically brecciated. The veins vary from dark yellow, to purplish, up to sienna color and draw on the background really unique motifs and interesting as well as unusual shapes.

Etruscan Nuvolato (or Breddolato or Golden blue)

This Siena marblevariety has a blue-gray background, with very strong ocher-colored veins, due to the presence of limonite compounds, with a crack-like appearance.

Yellow Ocher (or Classic Siena Yellow)

This is the best known variety of Siena yellow marble. The background has a basically uniform yellow ocher color, with variations towards lighter and darker shades. The veins are definitely present, of a darker yellow color, with the possible presence of ivory patches tending to white.

Veined Yellow

The Veined Yellow is a light yellow marblewith a lighter yellow background color compared with other yellow marbles, much less intense than the Yellow Ocher, with veins that can vary from ocher to a darker shade and that create a very strong contrasting effect with the background.

Ivory Yellow

It is a yellow marble stonewith an even more delicate color than the veined yellow marble, with a slightly lighter and more uniform background. The veins are present with shades ranging from light yellow to dark yellow tending to brown.

Uses of Yellow Siena marble

uses of yellow siena marble

Yellow Siena marbleis a stone perfectly suited to be used in contemporary architectural projects. Therefore, it is commonly used for yellow marble flooring, for the realization of walls and stairs, as a material for the construction of furniture such as sinks, yellow marble bathroomtops, kitchens and showers. Moreover, yellow Siena marbleis also used for creating objects or can be used in inlays and sculptures.

To create an effect with a marked visual contrast, a dark marble such as Portoro marble can be combined with giallo Siena marble.

It is thought that the use of yellow Siena marble in the architectural, construction and artistic fields has ancient origins, probably in Roman times.

The yellow marblesextracted in the area of Siena have been used for centuries in prestigious architectural projects such as the Duomo of Siena, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the Duomo of Florence and Orvieto.

The yellow Siena marble quarries

The extraction of yellow Siena marbletakes place mainly in the hilly complex of the Montagnola Senese, an area with predominantly calcareous soil that extends in a north-south direction, indicatively in the territories included in the municipalities of Casole d’Elsa, Monteriggioni and Siena, up to Sovicille , which reaches 671 meters in height with the relief of Montemaggio.

The excavation of the marble varieties of Montagnola Senese is particularly difficult since it is a site of regional interest, in which the conformation of these types of stones, characterized by the typical fractures found in the veins that characterize the yellow Siena marble, involves the extraction of often inhomogeneous or small blocks, as well as shapeless material.

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