In the Italian language, in addition to the meaning ‘common’ and ‘ordinary’, the adjective ‘ordinario’ means ‘average’, ‘uninteresting’ as well as ‘common’ and ‘ordinary’ (exactly like “ordinary” in English) – definitely not the best terms for high quality marble. So it should come as no surprise that stone companies prefer to use the much more attractive name Bianco Carrara.

Within the Carrara marble community, the exact meaning of the name Bianco Carrara is somewhat controversial. Many claim that the name also refers to marbles outside the Bianco Ordinario group. This is certainly due to the fact that several subtypes of the Bianco Venato marble from Carrara quarries resemble Ordinario so closely in appearance that distinguishing between them can be a difficult task. Consequently, the use of two names – Bianco Carrara Ordinario and Bianco Carrara Venato – to describe marbles that are difficult to distinguish from each other seemed confusing and impractical to many natural stone retailers. Consequently, they decided to use the name Bianco Carrara for all Carrara marbles characterised by pearly-white and greyish backgrounds and moderate veining.

To complete the subject, it should be added that, in the past, some Carrara people were using the name Bianco Ordinario to denote a material of an average aesthetic value. However, marbles with particularly attractive features were divided into: Bianco Latte (milky white), Bianco Chiaro (bright white, negligible overgrowth) and Bianco Unito (uniform white – for a material characterised by a white, uniform background and negligible overgrowth). This is probably another argument that gave rise to the belief that Bianco Ordinario and Bianco Carrara are two different materials.

However, more thorough research reveals that the above names were synonymous with the same marble (Bianco Carrara Ordinario) based on the background colour and the amount of wear in a given block. The same principle is used by today’s dealers to classify the material into categories C Extra, C, CD and D – with C Extra being the highest category.

The name Bianco Chiaro deserves special attention, because from the mid-19th century until the 1960s, it was used not only for some Ordinario subtypes characterised by a light background colour and a subtle hanking, but as a general name for the whole variety. The overtones of Bianco Ordinario, apart from ‘common’, also evoked associations of ‘average’, ‘uninteresting’, ‘inconspicuous’ stone, which could mislead potential customers in that they were buying a material of average quality. The opposite was true for the tempting name Bianco Chiaro, which in Italian has a positive connotation – “chiaro” for colour means “light”. In subsequent years, Bianco Chiaro was completely replaced by Bianco Carrara.

It is interesting to note that the Carrara people themselves have never used – and still do not use – the above names. Among themselves they use the name Ordinario, and to define a particular subtype they use the name of the quarry or the place of extraction, sometimes preceding the whole with the word Bianco. Hence the secret of the Bianco Carrara Ordinario.

Source: Kurier kamieniarski

Author: | Published: 28.02.2020