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Portoro marble is a fine-grained marble with a deep black background crossed by thick golden veins with hints of white. This marble gives increased opulence to any area in which it has been situated. For this reason, this Italian marble has been highly prized since the 17th century.
The word Portoro comes from Porto d’Oro an old name for the area of La Spezia, Liguria where this black and gold marble is quarried. In the past, this term was used for any similarly coloured marble but now it is a term used exclusively for the stone quarried in the Ligurian region1.
The quarries in this region are at Portovenere, Lerici and on the Island of Palmeria. These quarries began to work on a significant scale towards the end of the 16th century. Due to the high costs of this stone the stone was mainly used in France and England. This beautiful black and gold marble can be seen in ‘The Church of La Madeleine’ in Paris2 and in 'Westminster Cathedral' in London3.
Portoro marble can be seen in wall cladding, bathrooms (see the image below) fireplaces, and furniture. With regards to furniture Portoro is often used as an inlay.
And in the construction of marble tables (both black marble coffee tables and black marble dining tables).
Nero Portoro is an expensive investment to make due to it's high demand, and low availability. It is also a rather delicate stone and is not suitable for heavy foot traffic.
For this reason we strongly advise only using Nero Portoro marble tiles for interior projects which will not have to endure heavy footfall.
The highest quality Nero Portoro blocks are referred to as Nero Portoro extra. These marble blocks exhibit a deep and uniform black background without any white streaks. This deep black background is decorated with continuous gold veining distributed across the entire surface of the slab.
The veining on a Portoro slab can be described as “Macchia Grande” or “Macchia Fine”. This describes the patterning across the slab of Portoro. “Macchia Grande” has a thicker veining whereas “Macchia Fine” has a thinner veining. “Macchia Grande” can be seen in the slab below.
Choosing Nero Portoro marble is a real statement of opulence. This stone is amongst the upper echelons of natural stones in terms of price. And having an item of furniture or black and gold marble tiles in this material will bring an abundance of luxury and beauty to any living space.
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