With a swirling blend of black and white, Austrian pinolith provides a stark contrast as clear as night and day.
What is Pinolith?
Austrian pinolith is a blended gem material. It combines dolomite and magnesite together in a spectacular monochrome display.
Dolomite generally occurs in a white to gray coloration. However, in blends of pinolith, graphite lends gunmetal sheen to the stone. This allows the dolomite to transition from a near-black to light gray as it envelops its partner stone. Meanwhile, kernels of magnesite appear suspended against this dark backdrop, standing out in eye-popping patterns as it is cut into slabs. Magnesite typically forms as a white stone and is put on full display when witnessed in this stunning combination.
Dolomite and magnesite share a similar hardness on the Mohs scale. Dolomite ranks 3.5 to 4, while magnesite ranks from 3.5 to 4.5. The stones are suitable for daily wear, though precautions should be taken to avoid any scratching or abrasion. The polished stone will have an overall glass-like finish, though larger areas of dark dolomite may look pearly, while magnesite is matte.
Pinolith in Jewelry
Things have never been more black-and-white than Austrian pinolith! As an opaque stone, pinolith jewelry features cabochons of this material, shaped into popular sizes. The stone is highly polished, allowing the stone to achieve a luster than transitions from glass-like to pearly to matte. With a monochromatic palette, pinolith is easily accented with other gems, providing bursts of color that create impressive displays whenever an item is worn.
Austrian pinolith jewelry is an excellent option for workhorse pieces in your collection. Use the natural neutrals of black and white as a go-to accent piece. Ring, bangles, and pendants will be your best friends here, as they provide convenient means of dressing up casuals or workplace attire.
How did Pinolith Get its Name?
• Pinolith is named for the appearance of the magnesite kernels found within the material. With their shape and color, it was first compared to pine nuts in early found rock. Austrian pinolith can show many other patterns and designs, however, and no two ever appear alike. Pinolith may also be known as pinolite or pine stone.
As the name implies, Austrian pinolith is from Austria. While dolomite and magnesite may be found in many locations around the globe, this unique combination is only found in Austria. In German, pinolith is sometimes referred to as märbelstein, for its unique marbled appearance.
Pinolith from Styria, Austria
Styria is a state within southeastern Austria. Over time, pinolith was found alongside deposits of magnesite throughout the country. For a good portion of Austria's history, magnesite was an important mineral that first found use as a decorative element in construction. Once its heat-resistant properties were known, demand increased. In this way, it has been employed as lining for kilns and furnaces. Just as with magnesite, pinolith is mined for its use as a decorative material.
Records from the Sunk mine of Styria show that pinolith was mined as early as the 17th century. These records describe it as märbelstein, a synonym for the stone. It was utilized during this time to refurbish the St. Stephan Cathedral of Vienna, which had suffered previous damage due to a fire.
• Pinolith ranks from 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale.
• The stone presents as white kernels of color against a black to gray matrix.
• Sourced from Styria, Austria.
• There are no known treatments of this material.