Colorado Rose Sandstone Company
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Qualities of the Stone

The Lyons Sandstone beds, from which Colorado Rose Sandstone is taken, were deposited as beach and sandbar along the edge of a shallow sea that lay to the east of the Front Range in the Permian Age. In successive millennia, the sand deposits were buried, compacted, and uplifted, finally coming to the surface along the East edge of the modern day Rocky Mountains. By geologic chance, the formations between Fort Collins and Boulder have a combination of hardness, thin-bededness, and color that make them suitable for use as fascia, wall stone, flag stone, and other ornamental stone applications.

Most of the Lyons Sandstone consists of a combination of red and gray facies. The red facies are diagenetic and characterized by hematite, clay, quartz overgrowths, and calcite cement. It is the iron oxides (the hematite) that give the sandstone it characteristic red color. The gray facies are characterized by anhydrite and dolomite cement overlaying bitumen stains. The gray facies temper the red to produce many tints ranging from gray-blue through deep rose and red to pink, orange, and red-browns.

ASTM Test Results:
Absorption (C97) 3%
Compressive Strength (C170) 10-20,000 PSI
Modulus of Rupture (C99) 1000-3358 PSI
Abrasion Resistance (C241) 8


Among the interesting variations one can find in Lyons Sandstone are Dendrites, shown to the left. These were formed by the crystallization of manganese dioxide from groundwater as it slowly percolated through the rock. Although these are sometimes mistakenly referred to as fossil ferns, they are actually a natural mineral formation more akin to a decorative stain.

Permian Age RaindropsAnother interesting feature are raindrops from the Permian Age, shown to the right. These appear as both dents and raised bumps on naturally split faces.

Both the raindrops and the dendrites occur randomly and can be used as highlights in a decorative installation. However, they cannot be special ordered; they will appear by chance in any given shipment of stone.