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This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

This article is about DF geology and the distribution of stones, and does not contain the specific locations of ores or gems. For that, as well as a general introduction to the new player, see The Non-Dwarf's Guide to Rock
For a list of stone sorted by tile, see Tilesets § Stones.

A quick note on terminology:

Stone v50 preview.png

The term "stone" can refer to two different but related concepts, depending on if you're talking about "stone" or "a stone". When referring to stone as general material, it encompasses all non-organic material that is not specifically soil, metal or gems, as in "The stone layer was mostly granite" or "The stone was dug out to make room for workshops". When referring to a stone, the round item left over from mining, it refers to the specific object of raw material that is carried to a workshop of some type, or can be used as-is for construction, and that round item can be either stone (in the first sense) or a gem or an ore of some metal, as in "The stones left over were mostly granite with some gold" or "The stones dug out had to be removed to make room for the workshops". It's usually obvious from the context, but either 1) the non-ore/non-gem stuff in general, or 2) a single unit of stone/ore/gem that can be carried away - just to be clear.

An unmined rock or stone tile is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals. Mining a rock tile leaves behind a loose stone item (see infobox) roughly 25% of the time. Other types of minable tiles include soil, sand, and clay; these tiles do not produce loose stones when mined.

Hornblende sprite.png
Materials Workshops Labors
Used for
Base value Size
3☼ 100,000 cm³
Browse other items

Loose stones are divided into a few key categories:

  • Ore: stones that produce metal bars when smelted
  • Rough gems: rough gems can be cut, then used to encrust objects and create windows.
  • Other stone: all other stones, few of which have a use outside of items and structures (obsidian being a notable exception).

Economic stones are types of stone that can be reserved for a special purpose: for ores, this is smelting, and for fluxes, this is steel production. Bituminous coal and lignite can be reserved for making coke.

Having created loose stone, most of the time you'll want to get rid of it, or at least move it someplace else. See stone management for advice.

If you are having the opposite problem, and find yourself running out of stone, try making stone blocks.

Main layer types[edit]

Main article: Stone layers

There are four types of stone layers (plus soil, which is not stone). The type of layer is the primary indicator of what kind of ores you are likely to find on the map, as well as a sign of volcanic activity.

The types are sedimentary layers, igneous intrusive layers, igneous extrusive layers, and metamorphic layers.

The primary types of rock only occur in their own layers (e.g. you won't find limestone in a marble layer).

Stones forming entire layers[edit]

These types of stone occur as entire layers, containing some veins and pockets of other minerals (see below).

Icon Color Sample Name Fire-safe Magma-safe Economic uses
Chalk sprite.png / beige
Chalk Yes Calcium carbonate
Chert sprite.png / = pale taupe
Chert Yes Yes
Claystone sprite.png / , chocolate
Claystone Yes
Conglomerate sprite.png / rose taupe
Conglomerate Yes
Dolomite sprite.png / ` pale pink
Dolomite Yes Yes Flux
Limestone sprite.png / silver
Limestone Yes Calcium carbonate
Mudstone sprite.png / gray
Mudstone Yes
Rock salt sprite.png / # pink
Rock saltSwatch.png
Rock salt Yes
Sandstone sprite.png / # saffron
Sandstone Yes Yes
Shale sprite.png / . medium taupe
Shale Yes
Siltstone sprite.png / % ecru
Siltstone Yes
Igneous intrusive
Diorite sprite.png / silver
Diorite Yes
Gabbro sprite.png / gray
Gabbro Yes Yes
Granite sprite.png / clear
Granite Yes
Igneous extrusive
Andesite sprite.png / gray
Andesite Yes
Basalt sprite.png / # taupe gray
Basalt Yes Yes
Dacite sprite.png / . silver
Dacite Yes
Obsidian sprite.png / black
Obsidian Yes Yes Sharp blades
Rhyolite sprite.png / , buff
Rhyolite Yes
Gneiss sprite.png / = flax
Gneiss Yes
Marble sprite.png / white
Marble Yes Calcium carbonate
Phyllite sprite.png / - gray
Phyllite Yes
Quartzite sprite.png / - lavender blush
Quartzite Yes Yes
Schist sprite.png / ` dark chestnut
Schist Yes
Slate sprite.png / % russet
Slate Yes

Other stone[edit]

Stones found on this table will occur as pockets and veins inside their respective stone layers (see above). When your miners newly encounter one of them; you will receive an announcement, even for the ones that have no current use other than to build constructions of unusual colors. Note that the veins or clusters can spread into other layers, and may cause some layers to contain stones they usually wouldn't. A few of these stones, such as olivine, have other, more interesting minerals appear inside them.

Non-layer stone formations occur in one of three shapes: large clusters, veins, and small clusters. (See Veins & Clusters for full info.)

The following table does not contain ores and gems.

Currently under construction, in the process of adding samples of each stone in premium graphics. Jakemf (talk)

Icon Color Sample Name Found in Fire-safe Magma-safe Economic uses
Alabaster sprite.png / ^ ivory
Alabaster Gypsum(S) Plaster
Alunite sprite.png / ` purple
Alunite All Igneous extrusive(L), Kaolinite(L) Yes Yes
Anhydrite sprite.png / v periwinkle
Anhydrite Gypsum(S), Satinspar(1), Alabaster(1), Selenite(1) Yes Yes
Bauxite sprite.png / + vermilion
Bauxite All Sedimentary(L) Yes Yes
Bituminous coal sprite.png / charcoal
Bituminous coalSwatch.png
Bituminous coal All Sedimentary(V) Coal
Borax sprite.png / ` silver
Borax Gypsum(S), Rock salt(L) Yes
Brimstone sprite.png / % yellow
Brimstone All Igneous extrusive(S), Gypsum(S)
Calcite sprite.png / " flax
Calcite Limestone(S), Marble(S) Yes Yes Calcium carbonate
Chromite sprite.png / = dark indigo
Chromite Olivine(V) Yes Yes
Cinnabar sprite.png / £ * red
Cinnabar All Igneous extrusive(V), Shale(V), Quartzite(V)
Cobaltite sprite.png / £ * charcoal
Cobaltite All Igneous(V), All Metamorphic(V) Yes
Cryolite sprite.png / - buff
Cryolite Granite(S) Yes
Graphite sprite.png / o charcoal
Graphite Gneiss(S), Quartzite(S), Marble(S), Schist(S)
Gypsum sprite.png / # buff
Gypsum All Sedimentary(L)
Hornblende sprite.png / " gray
Hornblende All Igneous(S), All Metamorphic(S) Yes
Ilmenite sprite.png / . dark tan
Ilmenite Gabbro(S) Yes Yes
Jet sprite.png / midnight blue
Jet All Sedimentary(L) Yes
Kaolinite sprite.png / = pearl
Kaolinite All Sedimentary(L) Yes Yes
Kimberlite sprite.png / % cerulean
Kimberlite Gabbro(V) Yes
Lignite sprite.png / * slate gray
Lignite All Sedimentary(V) Coal
Marcasite sprite.png / % green-yellow
Marcasite Kaolinite(S)
Mica sprite.png / v saffron
Mica All Metamorphic(L), Granite(L) Yes Yes
Microcline sprite.png / % aqua
Microcline All Stone(L) Yes
Olivine sprite.png / % yellow-green
Olivine Gabbro(L) Yes Yes
Orpiment sprite.png / - amber
Orpiment All Igneous extrusive(S)
Orthoclase sprite.png / % chestnut
Orthoclase All Igneous intrusive(L), All Metamorphic(L) Yes Yes
Periclase sprite.png / , chartreuse
Periclase Marble(S) Yes Yes
Petrified wood sprite.png / % goldenrod
Petrified woodSwatch.png
Petrified wood All Sedimentary(S) Yes Yes
Pitchblende sprite.png / * olive
Pitchblende Granite(S) Yes Yes
Puddingstone sprite.png / Θ saffron
Puddingstone Conglomerate(L) Yes
Pyrolusite sprite.png / % charcoal
Pyrolusite All Igneous(S)
Realgar sprite.png / % red
Realgar All Igneous extrusive(S)
Rutile sprite.png / ` flax
Rutile All Metamorphic(S), Granite(S) Yes Yes
Saltpeter sprite.png / x ivory
Saltpeter All Sedimentary(S)
Satinspar sprite.png / - ivory
Satinspar Gypsum(S) Plaster
Selenite sprite.png / ; ivory
Selenite Gypsum(S) Plaster
Serpentine sprite.png / chartreuse
Serpentine Olivine(S)
Stibnite sprite.png / % cerulean
Stibnite All Igneous extrusive(S)
Sylvite sprite.png / = vermilion
Sylvite Rock salt(L) Yes
Talc sprite.png / | beige
Talc Dolomite(L) Yes Yes
(L) - occurs in large clusters
(V) - occurs in veins
(S) - occurs in small clusters
(1) - occurs in individual tiles

By color in Classic ASCII Dwarf Fortress[edit]

For those concerned with aesthetics and wanting to know which stones are available in each color.

Color Non-economic stones Economic stones Ore
White Alunite, Borax, Cryolite, Marcasite, Periclase, Quartzite (L), Rock salt (L), Talc Alabaster, Calcite, Chalk (L), Dolomite (L), Limestone (L), Marble (L), Satinspar, Selenite Galena, Horn silver, Native aluminum, Native platinum, Native silver
Light Gray Anhydrite, Dacite (L), Gneiss (L), Granite (L), Phyllite (L), Stibnite Bismuthinite
Dark Gray Andesite (L), Basalt (L), Chromite, Claystone (L), Diorite (L), Gabbro (L), Graphite, Hornblende, Ilmenite, Jet, Mica, Pyrolusite, Rhyolite (L), Shale (L), Slate Bituminous coal, Lignite, Obsidian (L) Magnetite, Sphalerite, Tetrahedrite
Brown Chert (L), Conglomerate (L), Mudstone (L), Puddingstone, Sandstone (L), Schist (L), Siltstone (L) Cassiterite, Native copper
Yellow Brimstone, Orpiment, Orthoclase, Saltpeter, Sylvite Gypsum Limonite, Native gold
Dark Red Bauxite Kaolinite Hematite
Red Cinnabar, Petrified wood, Realgar
Green Olivine, Serpentine Malachite
Bright Green Garnierite
Teal None
Cyan Microcline Raw adamantine
Blue Cobaltite
Dark Blue Kimberlite
Purple Pitchblende, Rutile
Magenta None

DF geology and geology in real life[edit]

The geology and stones of Dwarf Fortress are based (to some extent) on real-world geology and mineralogy. To understand the terms used here, you may want to crack open a geology textbook (a high school one should suffice). If you don't happen to have one close by, the Wikipedia articles for geology, mineralogy, or the terms in question might help. Below is a very brief introduction tailored for DF gamers, with links to the relevant game-specific pages.

In geological terminology, a rock or stone is basically a composite of minerals. Minerals, the building blocks of rock, are hard inorganic materials with a definite chemical formula and a certain atomic structure. For example, the mineral quartz is composed of silicon dioxide (SiO₂) arranged in a pyramid structure. Quartz is a component mineral of rocks (stones) such as quartzite (almost entirely made of quartz) or granite (some 20~60% quartz, a bunch more of the mineral "feldspar", plus mica and some others). The distinction between minerals like mica (simple) and rocks like granite (composite) does not matter for Dwarf Fortress; just like in everyday language, they're all just "stones". Besides minerals, some rocks may include organic material; such rocks include bituminous coal (made of dead bog things) or limestone (made of the skeletons of ocean animals).

The three minerals seen in granite are also among the most common:

  • Feldspar, meaning something like "field-stone", is actually a general name for an entire family of minerals, all of them based on aluminum and silicon. Their appearance varies, but they tends toward light greyish colors, and make up a lot of your typical light stone. Feldspar doesn't exist independently in the DF world; but, among the in-game stones, microcline and orthoclase are flavors of feldspar, and countless other DF stones would include feldspar in real life. A stone with a lot of feldspars and silicon is said to be felsic; granite and rhyolite are in-game examples.
  • Quartz, meaning "hard", easily makes big showy crystals; it's transparent if pure, but if the SiO₂ is combined with trace amounts of other elements (often metals like iron and manganese), it can get colored pink, purple (amethyst), yellow (citrine), and so on. If bubbly with air, quartz may become milky; if irradiated, it may get smoky.
  • Micas, like quartz, have silicon atoms crystalline structures. The difference is that they're organized in sheet-like, gleaming surfaces, held together by weaker bonds of other elements; this makes micas soft and flaky (the word means "grainy"). The color varies. The in-game stone mica is stated to be muscovite, which is a light variety (but the game color is dark gray, like coal; this may be a mistake). Other micas can be dark.

Other minerals that exist independently in DF include green olivine (yes, it's named after olives) and black hornblende, which is similar to dark mica but forms needlelike crystals. Dark minerals like these often include magnesium and iron (Fe); stones rich in them are then termed mafic (in contrast with "felsic"). In-game mafic stones include basalt and gabbro.

On the white side, calcite is a mineral based on calcium, the same stuff as bones. It forms crystals, and occurs in DF as an unremarkable white stone. Calcite is a main component of limestone and chalk—which in turn can become marble; it's often formed from the accumulated remains of ancient marine animals (for a memorable use of chalk stone layers in high fantasy, check out Terry Pratchett's novel The Wee Free Men and its sequels). The most well-known marine mineral is surely table salt, present in DF as rock salt. It's formed when saltwater evaporates; another evaporative mineral, or "evaporite", is gypsum, which, in DF as in real life, can be used to make plaster casts

Rocks can be classified by their creation processes, which makes them settle down in distinct stone layers, and possibly in veins and clusters. DF models this too, so that it's quite relevant information for players; see the links for details.

An ore is a rock with a metal content high enough for it to be a viable source of that metal. Most metals do not occur by themselves in nature, but readily bind with minerals to form stones; e.g. zinc binds with sulfur minerals to form the rock sphalerite. To extract the metal from it, someone has to smelt the stone. A few metals may be found in pure form, like native gold and silver (but in DF, they still require smelting to be shaped into useable bars).

A gem is a mineral (or rock, or rock-like material) with intrinsic economic value for a culture, often because they're beautiful, durable, and/or rare. This depends not just on what the mineral is made of, but also on the internal layout of its atomic structure, which can dramatically alter its appearance and properties; see the article on gems for more.

More: GemsMetalsStones
BloodBoneBrainCartilageCheeseChitinEggFatFeatherHair (WoolYarn) • HoofHornIchorLeatherMilkMeatNailNervous tissueParchmentPearlScaleShellSilkSkinSpitSweatTallowTearsToothWax
Fiber (PaperSlurry) • FlowerFruitLeafOil • Plant powders (DyeFlour) • Seed (Press cake) • Wood
AmberAshCoralFilthFuelGlassGrimeIceLyeMagmaMudPearlashPotashSaltUnknown substanceVomitWater
See also: Material science
"Stone" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: lam
Elvish: queca
Goblin: ngomstu
Human: ado
D4Dwarf.png This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, pop culture references, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.

Some small, specialized teams of Dwarves are known for their fierce battle-cry: "Rock and Stone!," or some variation thereof. Said dwarves are notoriously belligerent towards insect life.