Top Nations for Natural Stone: World’s Finest Picks

best countries that have natural stone

Marble, with its unique combination of strength and elegance, is highly sought-after in the construction and design industries. From exquisite countertops to stunning sculptures, this natural stone has found its way into countless projects worldwide. In the pursuit of the best quality and variety, professionals and enthusiasts alike turn to the top nations for natural stone. These countries boast rich quarries, thriving stone industries, and a reputation for producing some of the finest marbles the world has to offer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Turkey, Italy, Greece, Iran, and Spain are the top nations for natural stone.
  • Marble quarries in these countries provide an abundant supply of high-quality stones.
  • The global marble market was estimated to be around $2 billion in 2017, with Turkey contributing 50% of the earnings.
  • Each country offers unique marble varieties that cater to different aesthetic preferences and project requirements.
  • Exploring the marbles from these nations allows professionals to find the perfect choice for their projects.

Turkey (1.1 Billion US Dollars)

Turkey takes the lead as the largest exporter of marble in the world. Renowned for its Turkish marble, the country boasts some of the largest and most productive marble quarries globally.

Turkish marbles, including the popular travertine, are highly esteemed for their exceptional quality and exquisite beauty. The unique characteristics of Turkish marble, such as its diverse patterns and colors, make it a sought-after choice in the global market.

With its significant contribution to the global marble market, Turkey has earned a staggering 1.1 billion US dollars in export revenues. This remarkable achievement solidifies Turkey’s position as a top player in the marble industry.

Marble Quarries in Turkey

Turkey’s marble quarries are a sight to behold. Boasting massive dimensions, these quarries are a testament to the country’s rich geological resources and the dedication of its stone industry.

The Turkish marble industry operates numerous quarries, extracting a wide range of marble types to fulfill the diverse demands of both domestic and international markets. These quarries serve as the primary source for the country’s remarkable marble exports.

Exploring the marble quarries in Turkey allows visitors to witness the impressive scale of operations and witness firsthand the process behind the extraction of this exquisite natural stone.

Overview of the Turkish Marble Industry

As the top marble exporter, Turkey plays a pivotal role in the global stone market. The country’s extensive range of marble varieties, including the prestigious Turkish travertine, attracts buyers from around the world.

The Turkish marble industry has successfully built a reputation for producing high-quality marble products that meet stringent international standards. The industry’s commitment to excellence and innovation has allowed it to maintain its position as a dominant force in the international marble trade.

Key Features of the Turkish Marble Industry Benefits for Buyers
Wide variety of marble types Ability to find the perfect marble for specific projects
Exceptional quality and durability Long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing marble products
Advanced technology and production techniques Highly precise and customized marble solutions
Experienced and skilled workforce Expert assistance and guidance for marble selection and installation

“The Turkish marble industry stands as a testament to the country’s rich natural resources and commitment to excellence. Buyers can expect a wide range of high-quality marble options, advanced production techniques, and the expertise of skilled professionals.”

With its remarkable export revenues and unrivaled marble resources, Turkey continues to solidify its position as the premier destination for Turkish marble and a top player in the global stone industry.

Italy (425.5 Million US Dollars)

Italy, known as the birthplace of elegant marbles, ranks as the second-largest exporter of natural stones in the world. The country boasts a rich history and expertise in the marble industry, making it highly regarded for its quality and beauty.

Italian marble, including renowned varieties like Carrara, Statuario, and Botticino, has gained international recognition for its exceptional characteristics. Carrara marble, with its distinct gray and white tones, is a popular choice for architectural and sculptural applications. Statuario marble, known for its bright white background and bold veining, is prized for its luxurious appearance. Botticino marble, with its warm beige tones and subtle veining, adds a touch of elegance to any space.

Italian marble holds a significant market share of 425.5 million US dollars, reflecting the high demand for its exquisite varieties worldwide.

“Italian marble is the epitome of beauty and craftsmanship. Its timeless elegance and exceptional quality make it a top choice for interior designers, architects, and homeowners seeking to create stunning spaces.”

Italian Marble Varieties

Italy offers a wide range of marble varieties, each with its own unique characteristics:

  • Calacatta Marble: This rare and luxurious marble features a striking white background with bold dramatic veins, making it ideal for creating a statement look in any space.
  • Statuario Marble: With its bright white background and bold gray veining, Statuario marble exudes elegance and sophistication, making it a popular choice for high-end projects.
  • Carrara Marble: Carrara marble, the most commonly known Italian marble, showcases a gray or blue-gray finish with fine linear striations. Its versatility and classic appearance make it a timeless choice for various applications.

Here is a glimpse of the stunning beauty of Italian marble:

Marble Variety Description
Calacatta Marble
Statuario Marble

Carrara Marble

Greece (296.5 Million US Dollars)

Greece holds the impressive position of being the third biggest exporter of marble in the world. With its unique and exquisite marble varieties, Greece has made a significant contribution to the global marble market, generating revenues of 296.5 million US dollars.

The country’s marble industry is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Greek marble, including sought-after varieties such as Volakas, Thassos, and Achilles, has gained immense popularity among designers, architects, and homeowners worldwide.

The Parthenon, one of Greece’s most iconic landmarks, stands as a testament to the rich heritage and outstanding craftsmanship associated with Greek marble. The gleaming white columns and intricate details of this ancient temple showcase the stunning beauty and durability of Greek marble.

“Greek marble embodies the perfect blend of strength and elegance, making it a preferred choice for both interior and exterior applications.” – Design Magazine

Thassos marble, a type of Greek marble, is particularly renowned for its pure white color and luminosity. This marble variety has been used in various prestigious projects and has become synonymous with luxury and sophistication.

Key Features of Greek Marble:

  • Exquisite Beauty: Greek marble exhibits unique veining patterns and a wide range of colors, providing endless design possibilities.
  • Durability: With its exceptional hardness and resistance to wear, Greek marble is ideal for high-traffic areas, ensuring long-lasting beauty.
  • Versatility: Greek marble is suitable for a wide range of applications, including flooring, countertops, wall claddings, and decorative elements.
  • Sustainability: The extraction and processing of Greek marble adhere to strict environmental standards, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Comparison – Greek Marble Varieties:

Marble Variety Main Characteristics Popular Applications
Volakas White background with gray veining Floors, walls, countertops
Thassos Pure white marble Bathroom vanities, interior decor
Achilles Gray background with dramatic veining Fireplace surrounds, accent walls

With its rich history, exceptional craftsmanship, and superior quality, Greek marble continues to captivate enthusiasts and professionals in the natural stone industry. Whether it’s for residential or commercial projects, Greek marble offers an unmatched combination of beauty, durability, and timeless elegance.

Iran (166 Million US Dollars)

Iran is a prominent player in the global natural stone market, particularly known for its exquisite Iranian marble. One of the standout stones from Iran is the grey Gohara stone, prized for its unique color patterns and durability. Another notable variety is Onyx marble, which features striking veining and translucency that adds a touch of elegance to any project.

Thanks to these exceptional stones, Iran has emerged as the fourth-largest exporter of natural stones, contributing a substantial 166 million US dollars to the global market. The country’s marble quarries showcase a wide range of colors and textures, offering versatile options for architects, designers, and stone enthusiasts worldwide.

Iranian marble, including Gohara stone and Onyx marble, is highly regarded for its quality and aesthetic appeal. Whether used for interior or exterior applications, these stones offer a unique blend of beauty and durability, making them an excellent choice for various design projects.

Iranian marble

Colorful and Durable Marble

The marble quarries in Iran are not only known for their unique and rare stones but also for their diverse range of colors. From vibrant reds and greens to soothing blues and greys, Iranian marble offers a spectrum of options to suit different design preferences and aesthetics.

Moreover, Iranian marble is celebrated for its durability. The stone’s natural strength ensures longevity and resistance to wear and tear, making it an ideal choice for high-traffic areas like commercial buildings, hotels, and residential projects.

“The Iranian marble industry has gained recognition worldwide for its exquisite stones and craftsmanship. From the stunning Gohara stone to the elegant Onyx marble, Iranian stones offer a touch of luxury and sophistication to any space.” – Stone Magazine

Due to its reputation for quality and the incredible variety it offers, Iranian marble continues to be sought after by architects, designers, and stone importers globally. Its distinctive characteristics and enduring beauty make it a standout choice for those seeking exceptional natural stone solutions.

Spain (142.3 Million US Dollars)

Spain, the final country on our list, is a significant contributor to the global marble market, exporting a diverse range of marble varieties. Spanish marble, known for its quality and beauty, is highly sought after worldwide. Spain’s contribution to the global marble industry amounts to an impressive 142.3 million US dollars.

One of the most renowned Spanish marble varieties is Spanish Emperador. This marble features a rich, dark brown color with unique lighter veining, creating a luxurious and elegant appearance.

Another popular marble from Spain is Red Chigen. It is characterized by its vibrant red hues, often accompanied by intricate patterns and veining. The bold and striking look of Red Chigen marble makes it an excellent choice for adding a touch of warmth and drama to any space.

“Spanish marble stands out for its diversity, offering a wide range of colors, patterns, and finishes. This makes it a versatile choice for various applications, including flooring, countertops, and wall cladding.”

With its rich resources and commitment to quality, Spain continues to play a significant role in the global marble trade, providing customers around the world with exceptional marble products.

Other Countries

In addition to the five countries mentioned above, there are other countries that have significant marble resources. India, for example, imports marbles from countries like Macedonia, Tunisia, Portugal, Oman, China, and Egypt to provide a wide variety to its customers. These countries play a crucial role in the global stone industry.

Imports of Indian Marble

India, known for its rich heritage and craftsmanship, imports a diverse range of marbles to meet the demands of its customers. By sourcing marbles from countries around the world, India ensures that it offers a wide selection to its clientele.

  • From Macedonia, India imports marbles like Sivec and Bianco Diamante, prized for their purity and elegance.
  • Tunisian marbles, such as Adalia and Thala Beige, find their way to India to provide unique options for interior and exterior applications.
  • The beautiful Rosa Aurora marble from Portugal makes its presence felt in Indian homes and commercial spaces.
  • Omani marble, renowned for its durability and aesthetic appeal, is also among the imports that grace the Indian market.
  • Marbles from China, like Guangxi White and Crystal White, add a touch of international flair to Indian projects.
  • Egyptian marbles, including Galala and Sunny, further enhance the variety available in the Indian marble market.

With the import of marbles from these countries, India enriches its own stone industry and caters to the diverse preferences and requirements of its customers.

World’s Most Beautiful Countries

The World Economic Forum releases an annual Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report that ranks countries based on various factors, including natural resources. The top 30 countries in terms of natural resources, including protected ecosystems and UNESCO World Heritage sites, are considered the most beautiful. These stunning destinations offer not only natural stone but also a range of other attractions.

most beautiful countries in the world

Why Italian Marble Is Highly Sought After

Italy has long been renowned as the epitome of high-grade and luxurious marble. With a rich history that spans centuries, Italian marble has been used by renowned artists like Michelangelo and Donatello to create timeless works of art.

One of the key reasons why Italian marble is highly sought after is its exceptional quality. Italian marble is known for its durability and resilience, making it an ideal choice for various applications. Whether it’s used for flooring, countertops, or sculptures, Italian marble is built to withstand the test of time.

Moreover, Italian marble is famous for its unparalleled beauty. The unique patterns, veining, and colors found in Italian marbles add an aesthetic elegance to any space. From the striking deep gray veining of Calacatta marble to the bright white background of Statuario marble, each type of Italian marble exudes its own distinct charm.

Another reason why Italian marble holds such prestige is its association with luxury and sophistication. For centuries, Italian marble has adorned the most opulent buildings, palaces, and sculptures, symbolizing wealth and refined taste. Having Italian marble in your home or establishment elevates its ambiance and creates a sense of elegance.

Italian marble’s allure is also rooted in the country’s deep heritage in stone working. The Italian people have a longstanding tradition of craftsmanship, passed down through generations. From the quarries to the cutting and carving, Italians are considered experts in working with natural stone, ensuring that the finished product is of the highest quality.

Reasons Why Italian Marble Is Highly Sought After
Exceptional Quality
Unparalleled Beauty
Association with Luxury and Sophistication
Strong Heritage in Stone Working

Italian marble continues to be a symbol of elegance, luxury, and unrivaled craftsmanship. From its outstanding quality and beauty to its deep-rooted history and heritage, Italian marble remains highly sought after by architects, designers, and enthusiasts around the world.

Types of Italian Marble

Italian marble is renowned for its variety and exquisite characteristics. Let’s explore some of the most popular types:

Calacatta Marble

Calacatta marble is a rare and highly sought-after variety known for its stunning white background and dramatic veins. The veins can range in color from gray to gold, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any space.

Statuario Marble

Statuario marble is another beautiful Italian marble characterized by its bright white background and bold gray veining. This combination creates a striking contrast that adds a touch of luxury to interior designs.

Carrara Marble

Carrara marble is one of the most common and popular types of Italian marble. It features a gray or blue-gray finish with fine linear striations, giving it a timeless and classic look. Carrara marble is versatile and commonly used for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.

Italian marble, including Calacatta, Statuario, and Carrara, offers a wide range of options to suit various design preferences. Whether you’re looking for a rare and dramatic look or a timeless and classic aesthetic, Italian marble is sure to elevate your space.


The best countries for natural stone, including marble, are Turkey, Italy, Greece, Iran, and Spain. These countries have rich marble resources and are the top exporters in the industry. Turkey takes the lead as the largest exporter of marble, earning a staggering 1.1 billion US dollars, followed by Italy with 425.5 million US dollars, Greece with 296.5 million US dollars, Iran with 166 million US dollars, and Spain with 142.3 million US dollars.

While these five countries dominate the global marble market, other nations also play a significant role by importing marble. For example, India imports marbles from various countries such as Macedonia, Tunisia, Portugal, Oman, China, and Egypt, to offer a diverse range of options to its customers.

Natural stone enthusiasts and professionals seeking the best quality marbles can explore a wide variety from these top exporting countries. Whether it’s elegant Italian marble known for its rich history and association with luxury, or the unique and colorful stones from Iran, there is a perfect choice for every project. With their abundant marble resources, these countries continue to shape the global stone industry and provide customers worldwide with the finest natural stone options.


Which are the best countries for natural stone?

The best countries for natural stone are Turkey, Italy, Greece, Iran, and Spain.

What are the top exporting countries in the stone industry?

The top exporting countries in the stone industry are Turkey, Italy, Greece, Iran, and Spain.

What makes Turkey a top exporter of marble?

Turkey is the largest exporter of marble due to its rich quarries and production of high-quality marbles like travertine.

Why is Italian marble highly sought after?

Italian marble is highly sought after for its durability, beauty, and association with luxury and sophistication.

What are the popular marbles from Italy?

Popular marbles from Italy include Carrara marble, Statuario marble, and Botticino marble.

What is the contribution of Greece to the global marble market?

Greece is the third largest marble exporter in the world, contributing 296.5 million US dollars to the global market.

What are some of the famous marbles from Greece?

Famous marbles from Greece include Volakas marble, Thassos marble, and Achilles marble.

What makes Iran a notable exporter of natural stones?

Iran is known for its rare and colorful stones like grey Gohara stone and Onyx marble, which contribute to its position as the fourth-largest exporter of natural stones.

What are some popular marbles from Spain?

Popular marbles from Spain include Spanish Emperador marble and Red Chigen marble.

What are some other countries that contribute to the global stone industry?

Other countries that contribute to the global stone industry include India, Macedonia, Tunisia, Portugal, Oman, China, and Egypt.

Which countries are considered the most beautiful?

The top 30 countries considered the most beautiful based on natural resources and attractions are ranked in the World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.

Why is Italian marble highly regarded?

Italian marble is highly regarded due to its rich history, association with renowned artists like Michelangelo and Donatello, and the expertise of the Italian people in cutting and carving natural stone.

What are the different types of Italian marble?

Different types of Italian marble include Calacatta marble, Statuario marble, and Carrara marble, each with its unique characteristics.

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