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Formed over many thousands of years from the slow compression of fine grains of sand, minerals and more, sandstone offers a rich wealth of natural colours. Craftsmen have worked this rugged yet vibrant stone since prehistoric times. In Petra, Jordan, ancient Nabateans sculpted tombs and monumental buildings from rock striped in hues from purple to brilliant orange. Yet it’s also sandstone that underpins the neutral carvings of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and Washington’s gleaming White House. Today’s designers typically use sandstone for exteriors, both paving and facings, floors and walls. Relatively easy to carve yet resistant to weathering, it lends itself to a wealth of finishes, from rugged naturalistic rocky surfaces through to high-gloss polishes.