Nero Zimbabwe is a gabbro!

Nero Zimbabwe EcoantikNero Zimbabwe is more than a granite: it’s a gabbro.

Nero Zimbabwe, commonly known as granite Nero Assoluto, is not really a granite.
This material is scientifically classified as gabbro.


In 1810 the German geologist Leopold von Buch named this intrusive rock after the hills of Gabbro on the Tyrrhenian coast in the South of Livorno. Let’s look at the differences and similarities between gabbro and granite.

Difference between Gabbro and Granite

Both are intrusive igneous rocks of volcanic origin, formed after the cooling process inside the terrestrial crust.

Granite and gabbro have a different percentage of silica (minerals mostly composed by silica and oxide) and, due to the presence of other chemical elements, their colour and resistance are different, too. Gabbro contains between 45% and 52% of silica (basic rock) whereas granite contains 63% and more (acid rock).  

Granite is an acid rock with more than 63% of silica, its colour varies from white to red. The medium or medium fine-grained gabbro contains translucent and colourless quartz, potassic feldspar (orthoclase), spare plagioclase and biotite (black mica). Sometimes it also contains muscovite (if there are granites with two micas), apatite, zircon, pyrite. Gabbro is a basic rock, very dark, with plagioclase, pyroxene, amphibole.

What do these differences mean?

All these materials are generally very dark (we noticed that during the finishing process), that means the darker they are, the harder. In particular, Nero Zimbabwe is a very solid and homogenous stone with a black background colour and little dots of dark grey crystals.


nero zimbawe sezione sottile low

Thin section Nero Zimbabwe


Let’s compare for example the minimum values of some resistance proof between a light granite, Bianco Cristal, and a dark one, Nero Zimbabwe, according to the CE marking data.

The values are apparently very different and entirely in favour of Nero Zimbabwe, even if Bianco Cristal – compared to marble - has higher values of resistance.


Flexural strenght 30,2 MPa 15,8 MPa
Compressive strength 261 MPa 144 MPa
Breaking load at fixing points  2950 N 2450 N


 Application of Nero Zimbabwe

Nero Zimbabwe can be used for different purposes, thanks to its intense chromatic tonality and hardness. This material is suitable for interior design as well as for outdoor facilities.

Nero Zimbabwe

The absolute black colour of this precious material is characterized by very small dots that vary from grey to black, which provide elegance and sophistication to the surface.

The two main characteristics of this gabbro are hardness and chromatic tonality, which is ideal for big construction projects: cladding of buildings, hotel lobbies, large-area floor covering, even in villas.

This elegant material goes with any design style, including interior flooring or cladding, bathroom design, kitchen tops or vanity tops etc.

We’d recommend a polished or Ecoantik treated surface (look at the photo above) or the whole range of flaming and brushing to highlight the chromatic character.  The last two finishing methods are particularly suitable for exterior design or wall cladding. 


Look at Nero Zimbabwe in our material catalogue.