Discovered in Alaska in 1994, this
extraordinary marble has no known equivalent worldwide. It was
given the name Aphrodite, after the Greek goddess of love, because
of its soft, creamy pink colors and its fossil patterns which at
times suggest valentine hearts. Aphrodite marble is currently being
used for fine sculpture, table tops, vessels of all kinds, and as tiles for interior
There are six color varieties of Aphrodite. Some have
fossils. Some are bare of fossils. All may have
gold, yellow, or brown stylolites running through.
Aphrodite with fossils
Aphrodite Aphrodite -
This is the classic Aphrodite, a blend of creams and pinks, with
red, green and yellow sea-shell fossils.
Golden Aphrodite - Warm yellows and
golds, with red and green accents, and swirling clouds of grey stromatolite
Royal Aphrodite - Burgundy red
sea-shell fossils in a soft lavender-gray or bluish matrix, with gold and
Note on colors in fossils: Fossilized seashells are fairly common
on the planet. Ninety-nine percent are white, black,
or some shade in between. The fossils in Aphrodite Marble are red,
yellow and green. Nothing has been seen from any other place in
the world - in fossil and
mineral shows, in marble shows, in stone exhibitions, in museums - like it.
Creamy Pink. Soft colored inclusions. An occasional
fossil, usually a snail. Beautiful color.
Red Stripe. Cream to pink, with red banding. The bands are seldom continuous.
Instead, they are off-set here and there, a physical proof of
past earth movements. This off-setting adds both visual and
Bare Royal. Lavender/grey or
creams, golds, reds, and pinks - all very pastel.
Note on Bare Aphrodite: Every
piece is different. Typically, one variety melds into
another. Some are quite solid in color but most have some
patterning. The stylolites can an attractive addition. The stylolites
are ancient fault fractures, which are now "healed" or glued by a
naturally occurring calcite cement. Some of these
ancient fractures are quite wide, filled by both a red (hematite
colored) water-deposited calcite and chunks of the original stone
occurring, these brecciated fracture fillings add even more color
and pattern to the stone.
Some of the Bare might be called "topographic"
Aphrodite because, in polished table tops, its
undulating patterns can suggest mountains and other landforms
while its stylolites look like river systems. We often hear: "it looks just like a map."
INFORMATION FOR THE SCULPTOR
With its clam and snail fossils, Aphrodite Aphrodite and Royal
Aphrodite are excellent for any carved form suggesting the sea.
Mermaids are perfect. These varieties also make beautiful
vessels, big and small. Sculptors seeking less patterned stone
may prefer one of the Bare varieties. All
varieties are good for free forms.
Aphrodite marble is
easily worked. It takes a fine polish. However, there
are things the sculptor should bear in mind. First, it has a
mind of its own as to how it wants to break. Therefore, Aphrodite is best worked by
grinding, not chipping. Second, while it has not been blasted during extraction, occasional natural fractures (blame plate tectonics) may require
gluing. Check by the water test. Third, in the fossiliferious varieties, the large
clam fossils sometimes have a green in-filling that tends to
be softer that the surrounding clam shell. Sculptors should
take care in those areas to prevent dipping.
"Aphrodite marble...a great carve," JoAnne Duby.
"Love that stone, " Norm Reddick
To see photos of raw stone for sale and close-ups of the different
varieties of Aphrodite, go to Aphrodite
To see photos of Aphrodite in fine art sculpture, go to
Functional Art to see Aphrodite table tops, decorator pieces, bowls,
Aphrodite outdoor benches, fountains, and zen
pools may be seen by clicking
To learn more about its paleontology
and see close-up photos of fossils within Aphrodite,
go to Fossils from Alaska.