When shopping for a diamond, an expert will tell you about the four C’s: color, clarity, cut and carat weight. This system helps determine the worth of one of the most precious materials on earth. These categories are also comparable when determining the worth of a natural stone slab, although for stone the four C’s would represent color, clarity, country and centimeter. While these are not the only aspects to determine the worth of a natural stone slab, they are certainly a large factor.
To understand the worth of a slab you must first look at color. In natural stone, color is created when different vitamins and minerals chemically react to one another. When certain minerals react you will see different colors reveal themselves in the slab. There are certain colors that don’t occur as frequently, subsequently making them more rare and valuable. Blues and greens would top that list. Cool tones are of the more rare color families found in stone especially when they appear with such vibrance, such as Aria Stone Gallery’s Blue Bahia Granite.
Regarding a diamond, when experts speak of clarity they are referring to fog that might appear in the stone. However, in a stone slab you are looking for clarity of pattern, such as veining, color consistency, etc. Patterns in the stone vary slightly from material to material and from bundle to bundle – giving you a 100% unique piece, but also potentially creating a challenge while finding the perfect bookmatch. What you want to look for is a distinct, continuous pattern throughout the entire stone. If you are able to point out these distinctive patterns, a seamless bookmatch will come with ease and ultimately create a consistent feel across a space.
When you are picking out the perfect stone, a large factor to consider is where that stone comes from. With each country there are different conservation and shipping laws, which will contribute to the factors of a stone being more rare, purely due to the fact that it is hard to source. Also, some quarries are more exclusive than others and offer access to only some of the buyers. For example, the Borghini quarry is mined very infrequently. The Borghini quarry mines anywhere from 1-2 blocks per week – roughly 50-60 slabs per block on average – whereas other larger quarries mine a lot more. For comparison sake, Bianco Carrara marble quarries mine 100 plus blocks of Carrara a week (all combined). Therefore, Borghini marble is a lot less common, making it very unique.
Centimeter is fairly self explanatory, in that it is the thickness and size of your piece of stone. There have been many questions about whether there is a difference in working with 2 or 3cm material. 2cm or 3cm make for the about the same durability in a stone application depending on the use.