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What Is Marble?

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So what is Marble? Marble rock is a transformed or metamorphosed limestone comprising of fairly pure calcite mineral. When limestone, in its formation stage, is subjected to high temperature and pressure changes, the composition which is calcite mineral melts causing appearance and textural change within limestone. With limestone crystallization and any Fossils, a bigger grain of calcite is formed; this is marble. The composition of the minerals present in the crystal causes the marble rock to take a certain color.

When there is no other mineral present during the extreme heating process, a white marble is formed. The presence of clay or iron ore in the earth crust during the marble formation can make it take on a reddish colour. With silica in the parent rock, recrystallization will bring about the formation of crystals of quartz in the marble. Yellow marble is formed when there is limonite in the parent rock, whereas green limestone is formed if there is serpentine present.

When considering what is marble historically, some important types of marble need to be taken into consideration. Named after their quarry locations, marbles of historical interest are, Carrara from Italy, Pentelicus  from  Greece and Proconnesus  from  Turkey. Carrara is a white marble that has been prized highly for sculpture from classical times. Carrara is the stone of choice for this purpose because of its soft nature, peculiar isotropy and homogeneity. It is also resistance to shattering. Light can easily penetrate into this stone before diverging out because of the low refraction index of the calcite mineral composition. This gives this stone its known waxy look, which is responsible for the life seen in marble sculptures.

This metamorphosed limestone can be used in so many ways; from classical times, marble is highly valued and prized because of its strength, beauty and resistance to heat and erosion. Marble was used by the ancient Greeks for buildings and statues. This is because it is soft and can easily be cut and shaped. Marble made from highly pure calcite are mostly used for statues. Colored types of this stone in large blocks can be used in floors, columns and other parts of the building. Smaller pieces are ground into a fine powder for use as abrasive in soaps and any other product that requires an abrasive content. Crushed form can also be useful in road paving, roofing material manufacturing and in the production of soil treatment products.

Marble also has home usage, which can be applied in the following; it is used for countertops, wall, floor sinks, ceiling tiles, stool, wall sconces, lamp bases, shades and many more. It can also be useful in mosaics, production of trinket boxes and picture frames, and for inlay work in wood.

Marbles can be used for both interior and exterior applications but worthy of note is that with today's polluted environment, for these stones to last for external use, you will need to ensure a polished finish is not used, or you must be prepared to commit to the ongoing maintenance  to ensure longevity.

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