Limestone, found throughout Tennessee, was declared the official state rock in 1979. Tennessee marble (the metamorphic version of limestone) is widely used in public and private buildings. Tennessee marble is a beautiful and decorative stone that graces exteriors, floors, counters, elevators and walls with the warm tones of this unique American "rock."
The Tennessee marble industry began nearly 200 years ago. Marble quarried in Tennessee was used as the primary building material for the state's capitol building. Tennessee marble has been used in major civic and government buildings from New York to California, including the National Gallery of Art, The Smithsonian, the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and the National Cathedral.
Lime is also produced from limestone. Lime was used as a mortar at least 7,000 years ago in Turkey (ancient Egyptians also used lime to make plaster and mortar). Today lime is used mostly in steel manufacturing and power plants to remove impurities and reduce emissions. Lime is also used in mining, paper production, water and waste-water treatment, road construction, and building construction.
Tennessee also recognizes a state stone; agate.