Pyrophyllite, a mineral very similar to talc, is sometimes called soapstone in the generic sense, since its physical characteristics and industrial uses are similar,[2] and because it is also commonly used as a carving material. Soapstone (also known as steatite or soaprock) is a talc-schist, which is a type of metamorphic rock. Soapstone can be used to create molds for casting objects from soft metals, such as pewter or silver. Soapstone, also called soaprock or steatite, is a type of metamorphic rock that consists mainly of talc. This soft, monochromatic material has been used for cooking for thousands of years and has been a staple of the American home since Vermont soapstone wood-burning stoves became a fixture of many East Coast homes. The sinks most often made by Vermont Soapstone are constructed from slabs of stone cut to size and assembled with an epoxy-type glue they’ve been using for the past 50 years. A wide variety of soapstone types options are available to you, such as stone, silicone. But soapstone isn’t limited just to grays. Soapstones can be put in a freezer and later used in place of ice cubes to chill alcoholic beverages without diluting. Unlike marble though, these marks can be easily removed by the homeowner with a few simple household items. A variety of other regional and marketing names for soapstone are used. The ancient trading city of Tepe Yahya in southeastern Iran was a center for the production and distribution of soapstone in the fifth to third millennia BC. These two types are referred to as Artistic Soapstone and Architectual Soapstone. However, this mineral typically does not have such a soapy feel as soapstone. It is a classic soapstone gray with simple veins. Overview: Primarily characterized by a soapy sensation when touched, soapstone has high talc content. In greater St. Louis area, you should plan on spending  $70 to $80 per sq. White Soapstone is actually a marble. However, since soapstone is softer than granite, it will scratch and nick. Some Native Americans use soapstone for smoking pipes; numerous examples have been found among artifacts of different cultures and are still in use today. Small blocks of soapstone (8" x 10" x 1") were heated on the cookstove or near the fire and used to warm cold bedclothes or to keep hands and feet cozy while sleighing. Artistic Soapstone has a very high talc content; often times the talc content in Artistic Soapstone is upwards of 80 percent. There are different colors, types and qualities of soapstone. [1] Native Americans on the west coast traveled in canoes from the mainland to San Clemente Island (60 miles offshore!) In other words, start with what’s available instead of trying to find out if something you saw online or in someone’s home is available anywhere. It is also used for countertops and bathroom tiling because of the ease of working the material and its property as the "quiet stone". [11] It was also used in Minoan Crete. Soapstone is a type of talc-schist metamorphic rock.Also other naming’s are steatite or soaprock. The super-simple Barocca Soapstone has a smooth light-gray background with the occasional thin white vein (more visible when the soapstone is oiled or waxed). Architectural soapstone comes in three main color varieties: gray, blue, and green. insulators of mast radiators. In fact, soapstone is one of the few natural stone countertops quarried in the U.S. It comes from Brazil. Steatite ceramics are low-cost biaxial porcelains of nominal composition (MgO)3(SiO2)4. I have black, red, green, Montana dendritic, more. The softness of the rock is due to talc in its composition, and the amount of talc can vary from 80% (very soft) to about 30%. [14], Pipes and decorative carvings of local animals were made out of soapstone by Australian Aboriginal artist Erlikilyika (c.1865–c.1930) in Central Australia. Over time, natural soapstone develops a natural patina. We stock more than 120 colors of slabs in our Showroom. White Soapstone is not actually soapstone! dunite or serpentinite) and the metasomatism of siliceous dolomites. It is quarried in India. At levels of 3000 mg/m3, soapstone is immediately dangerous to life and health. [19], A 12th-century Byzantine relief of Saint George and the Dragon, Soapstone sculpture on the Hoysala temple at Belur, India[21], Soapstone slot-and-tab tomb in Dahlonega, Georgia, A fountain made with soapstone, near Our Lady of Good Voyage Cathedral, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, An Egyptian carved and glazed steatite scarab amulet, Steatite scarab at the Walters Art Museum, Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway, constructed mainly of soapstone, Historical uses (Only in Europe before beginning of the 14th Century), Uses since 14th Century Europeans and the uses by Non-European cultures, "Some Important Aspects of the Harappan Technological Tradition," Bhan KK, Vidale M and Kenoyer JM, in. [7] In Shetland, there is evidence these vessels were used for processing marine and dairy fats. Types of Soapstone . Soapstone has a greasy feel (hence the name), can be ground to a powder or carved, has a high fusion point, low electrical and thermal conductivity, superior heat retention and high lubricating power. PA Soapstone is a very dark, simple type with minimal “noise.” It contrasts extremely well with white marble. Soapstone is a natural product quarried from the ground in blocks, like marble and granite. Porto Allegre Soapstone is a light blue-gray Brazilian soapstone with strong veins. If your fabricator is buying each slab directly from the importer, this can unnecessarily increase the cost of your countertops. It is soft (1-2 on the Mohs scale), with a specific gravity of 2.2-2.8, but these properties vary with type and amount of impurities. The active North American soapstone mines include one south of Quebec City with products marketed by Canadian Soapstone, the Treasure and Regal mines in Beaverhead County, Montana mined by the Barretts Minerals Company, and another in Central Virginia operated by the Alberene Soapstone Company. [18] It is also used for high-voltage insulators, which have to stand large mechanical loads, e.g. It can help you understand the meanings behind works of literature, and even get you into the mind of the author. [15], Some wood-burning stoves make use of soapstone to take advantage of its useful thermal and fire-resistant properties.[9][10]. Its durable like granite and marble, but its more forgiving under stress, soapstone has a tendency to dent rather than chip or cr… Limestone becomes marble. When oiled or waxed, this variety can have a rich black color. We buy these in bulk from the largest natural stone importer in America, MS International. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set the legal limit (permissible exposure limit) for soapstone exposure in the workplace as 20 million particles per cubic foot over an 8-hour workday.