This stone is of a glassy appearance, and usually consists of a beautiful mix of colours that gives it its unique patterns. It can be found in grey, white, red, light pink and even yellow-brown. Its main uses are ornamental and in the manufacturing of cement. In horticulture, it can lower the acidity level of soil when mixed. Industrially, it is used in the coating of baking and calcining furnaces, for paint and plastic fillers, and in the production of glass, steel and ceramics. It is also used to make salts for nausea, fatigue and sadness. This mineral was discovered in 1779 by the Tuscan mineralogist and metallurgist Giovanni Arduino, who noted a different variety of limestone in the Tyrolean Alps. However, it took twelve years for it to be identified and differentiated from calcite by French geologist Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu, and another year before its discovery was officially attributed to another mineralogist, Horace-Bénédict de Saussure. Coming from a famous family of Swiss geologists who held authority in scientific communities, it was his son Nicolas-Théodore who would be recognised as the official discoverer of dolomite stone. He awarded it its current name in honour of his predecessor, Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu.
The term became the geographical designation of the Val di Fassa, Gardena, Badia, the Pustertal Valley and the Venetian Prealps in 1837 thanks to its publication in a guide. But its spread in Europe occurred 27 years thanks to the book ‘The Dolomites Mountains’ a travel guide by English naturalists by J. Gilbert and G.C. Churchill. These Italian mountain ranges of the Southern Prealps have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009. Today, dolomite deposits are no longer only found in Italy, but also in Spain, the United States and France. They are all producers of remarkable specimens. Unlike Dolomieu and Saussure, who assumed the mineral had a high concentration of aluminium, Arduino discovered it as its main component. He also formulated a hypothesis about the formation of dolomite stone. Valid in modern scientific circles, this rock is believed to be the result of a chemical reaction of ordinary limestone on the sea floor that replaces calcium with magnesium.
In mineralogy, it is composed of calcium carbonate and magnesium. Its chemical formula is CaMg (CO3) 2, with residues of Fe, Mn, Co, Pb and Zn. It crystallises in a rhombohedral manner, that is, it belongs to the hexagonal crystalline system. Its hardness is 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs scale. Other names for it include alumuniferous, manganiferous or slow-releasing limestone carbonate, magnesiocalcite, magnesiodolomite, miemia, muricalcite, and tharandite. It is very similar to another rock called ankerite; the light-hued rock types are dolomites, while brownish rock types are ankerite. Stone and dolomite marble are the primary minerals of the common sedimentary rock, dolomite. When it has a hydrothermal origin, it can be found in lead and zinc veins, combined with calcite, fluorine, baryte and siderite. Its natural equivalent, ankerite, has a higher iron concentration and is found in sites dating back to the Precambrian Era.
The formation of dolomite stone began with the accumulation of shells, corals, and calcareous algae in marine or tropical environments during the Triassic Period 250 million years ago. The seas were warm and shallow, and the accumulation of hundreds of meters of sediment produced rock due to the resulting mass and loss of fluid. 20 million years ago, the effect of African and Eurasian tectonic plates (alpine orogeny) elevated these ancient seabeds into mountains that rise 3,000 m above sea-level, far from the place of their original formation.
The resulting Dolomites national park, worthy of a postcard, still bears traces of its origins. As such, the Sella massif was a great coral reef, while fossil footprints of dinosaurs can be found on Pelmetto in Cadore and on Lavini Marco in Rovereto. It also includes an interesting variety of geological stratifications and gradients. As the rocks rose due to numerous earthquakes and volcanic explosions, they collapsed and fractured. They were then eroded due to bad weather and planes of weakness. This gives the beautiful Italian mountain range a topography with not only vertical structures such as aretes, needles, spires, and niches, but also with horizontal structures such as domes, ledges, pits, ridges and plateaus.
The landscape is varied and testifies to the glacial periods and movements that the Dolomites underwent; smoothed and streaked sections, numerous passes, suspended valleys, glacial circuses, lakes and traces of permafrost (ancient frozen ground). Erosion shapes rock formations in remarkable ways such as in the case of the Earth pyramids of South Tyrol and Segonzano in Trentino. Today, wind, rain and temperature differences continue to shape the park. The clash between the tectonic plates will continue to create ground for mountains, while exogenous agents will smooth and shape it. Even if they are rarer we still observe the presence of snowfields and glaciers, the most famous of which is the Marmolada. The beautiful lakes are perfect for taking memorable photos, and the valleys and passes are beautiful natural tourist spots.
In litho therapy, this soft and natural mineral is calming. It calms emotions by sealing energy leakages of the chakras, helping those with disabilities or serious disorders. Red dolomite is associated with the first root chakra, while blue is related to the sixth chakra. In addition, it balances and aligns them, stabilising human energies. This rock is therapeutic in instances of grief, emotional wounds, loneliness and fear. In the form of crystals it helps you to interpret dreams and offers the gift of foresight.
Its calming effect on the mind reduces anger and negative reactions, and strengthens familial relationships. It is effective at using universal energies to bring joy into a home, and its soul purifying effect encourages passive individuals to take a more positive look on life. It fosters creative initiatives. In general, it allows you to get in touch with your inner self. Pink dolomite is used to improve sleep, and the other light varieties are recommended for the gentle opening of the heart chakra. To benefit from its effects and to attract money, it is worth placing dolomite stone in strategic places around the house. You can also use this stone in combination with other stones.
The large amount of magnesium in dolomite stone makes a useful stone for vitality, as it is one of the five most prominent mineral salts in the human body and daily intake is recommended. Combined with phosphorus and calcium, of which dolomite is also composed of, it contributes to proper neuromuscular functioning and bone strengthening. When the stone is worn for a long time, it strengthens the organs. It then purifies the muscles, bones, teeth, nails, skin, adrenal glands, sweat glands, blood circulation and the female reproductive system, particularly the oocytes. It is beneficial for breathing, kidneys, lungs, coughs, cramps, sleep and skin. It helps soothe fevers and headaches.
To recharge dolomite stone after its use, it can energetically purified by leaving it for several hours on a bed of coarse salt. Sun and natural light are other complementary methods. It is recommended not to keep it in the presence of haematites and not to use it to make elixirs.