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Oakley Stone

Oakley stone is the trade name of a building stone that occurs in the mountains south of Oakley, Idaho in Cassia County near the Utah border. It is more properly known as Rocky Mountain Quartzite or Idaho Quartzite. Quartzite, a metamorphic rock, is quarried in the City of Rocks area. The quarries from which from which this stone originates are located on the west side of Middle Mountain in the Albion Mountains.

Oakley Stone is micaceous, meaning it is a mica bearing stone. This mineral gives the product a fish-scale like sheen and the stone is noted for the great variety of colors. It ranges from white and silver to browns, yellows, and golds.[1] Another stone in the area, Elba Quartzite, is a green micaceous quartzite. The green color of the rock is a the result of chromium in the mica which is also known as fuchsite.[2] The original sedimentary rock from which the quartzite formed was a quartz rich sandstone. During the metamorphic process, the pressure caused the layers of clay within the sandstone to thin and flatten into the mica-rich layers. The space between planes of parting or foliation are consistent which makes it uniform in thickness.[3]

The outcroppings of the stone usually lie parallel to the ground and occur in large plates that can be easily split into thin veneers. Beginning in 1948, the stone was mined and sold in large quantities throughout the United States. It used for interior decoration, fireplace mantels, decks and patios, or facing buildings. A variant is "builders" which are naturally occurring brick-shaped pieces used to face building exteriors, building property walls, or fireplaces. There are about a dozen companies in the Oakley area quarrying the stone.

The Archie Boyd Teater Studio designed by Frank Lloyd Wright used the stone in both the exterior and interior of the building. [4]


  1. ^ Link, Paul (2002). Albion Range and the Silent City of Rocks. Digital Atlas of Idaho. State of Idaho, Board of Education. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  2. ^ Sawtooth National Forest. Geologic Points of Interest. United States Forest Service. Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
  3. ^ Maley, Terry S. (1987). Exploring Idaho geology. Boise, ID: Mineral Land Publications, pp.137-138. ISBN 0-940949-00-8. 
  4. ^ Archie Teater’s Studio. Reference Series. Idaho State Historical Society (1991). Retrieved on 2007-04-26.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Oakley_Stone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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