How to Identify Dark Emperador Marble Different Grades

There is much mystery about the Dark Emperador classification of grades or qualities. Its quality level grading is done by each quarry or supplier according to their own needs, clients and markets. Therefore, there is no standard grading for this marble. This situation makes it extremely difficult for a client to be able to judge the qualities that are presented.

The reality is that there are many second grade Dark Emperador marble variations being sold as first grade. Many suppliers play with this uncertainty and lack of standards to sell lower grades for a higher price. Unless you know the history of this marble and the way the quarries have been evolving, you can easily fall into this and end up buying lower grade for the price of a higher grade.

Well, with this article we try to bring some light into this Dark Emperador grading issue by presenting what could be considered as the four main grades of Dark Emperador:

Dark Emperador First

The first quality or premium Dark Emperador. Amongst all Dark Emperador quarries, not all can extract this type of grade. And the ones that extract, this exact grade may represent not more than 5% of its production. This makes the Dark Emperador First a very exclusive type and the most expensive.

Its surface is very uniform, with very dark brown colour and basically no signs of white coloured veins.

This type of Dark Emperador is mostly sold to exclusive small to medium sized projects and for regular clients.


This type of Dark Emperador is still considered a high grade, which together with the Dark Emperador First make the first choices. This grade has much more availability, the price is a bit more competitive, but is often sold by several suppliers as First grade material (specially suppliers that cannot access First grade blocks).

The main characteristics of this grade are the fairly uniform background with a couple of brown coloured tones, as well as the presence of a certain amount of white coloured vein and calcite.

This type of Dark Emperador is commercialized to several markets, from blocks to China to slabs to the Middle East, or finished product to Europe or North America.

Dark Emperador Standard

Dark Emperador Commercial

The best choice for a second grade Dark Emperador, the Dark Emperador Commercial is the mainstream Dark Emperador variation. It is a more affordable option that has large availability in most quarries. However, it is characterized by its less uniform background and colour, as well as a larger amount of white vein and calcite. Many companies sell this grade as Dark Emperador Standard.

This grade is sold everywhere as a mainstream Dark Emperador marble.

Dark Emperador Commercial

Dark Emperador Classic

The lower grade of the Dark Emperador marble, the Dark Emperador Classic are normally the worst blocks in the quarries. In addition to present strong signs of white vein and calcite, it is common to find little white clouds (white coloured areas all over the surface of the stone). In terms of colour, expect many variations and a lighter coloured brown background.

This type of Dark Emperador is normally quite cheap, but selection is quite limited if not poor. This is mostly exported to North African markets and any other market where quality is not an issue.

Dark Emperador Classic