A Humbling Experience, By President Rawi Tabbah

Rawi during the early days of International Stoneworks


After 34 years in the stone restoration business, I am often asked what is the first thing a person interested in this business should do? My usual answer is: learn as much as you can about the stone itself.  Learn to recognize marble from granite from limestone, etc. Then, learn some of the general characteristics of the various stones.  No need to become a geologist, but learn instead about the hardness (familiarize yourself with the Moh’s scale), porosity, and the acid resistance of the various stones.

I felt proud of myself walking into the Duomo of Milan, identifying all the various, magnificent stones that cover the entire floor to my wife and family. “The red is Rosso Verona; the white a Carrara; and the black a Black Marquina.”

Duomo Cathedral Floor


WRONG ON ALL COUNTS! I did not get one right. The red was in fact D’Arzo. The white is from Candoglia, while the black was from Varenna. What a humbling experience!


I have a suggestion. Next time, stop by the local tourist office, purchase the books and all the information you need, and only then show off your superior knowledge to your family and friends.


Rawi Tabbah

President, International Stoneworks, Inc.