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    * Marble *


    (Wikipedia) - Marble This article is about the rock. For the toy, see Marble (toy). For other uses, see Marble (disambiguation).A block of marbleFolded and weathered marble at General Carrera Lake, ChileThe Taj Mahal is entirely clad in marble.Natural patterns on the polished surface of Breccia or "landscape marble" can resemble a city skyline or even trees, and were used as inlays for furniture, etc.

    Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however, stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.



    The word "marble" derives from the Greek μάρμαρον (mármaron), from μάρμαρος (mármaros), "crystalline rock, shining stone", perhaps from the verb μαρμαίρω (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle, gleam"; R. S. P. Beekes has suggested that a "Pre-Greek origin is probable."

    This stem is also the basis for the English word marmoreal, meaning "marble-like." While the English term resembles the French marbre, most other European languages (e.g. Spanish mármol, Italian marmo, Portuguese mármore, Romanian marmură, Welsh marmor, German, Norwegian, Danish and Swedish marmor, Persian and Irish marmar, Dutch marmer, Slovenian marmor, Polish marmur, Turkish mermer, Czech mramor, Magyar márvány and Russian мрáмор) follow the original Greek.

    Physical origins

    Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals. Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock (protolith) have typically been modified or destroyed.

    Pure white marble is the result of metamorphism of a very pure (silicate-poor) limestone or dolomite protolith. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. Green coloration is often due to serpentine resulting from originally high magnesium limestone or dolostone with silica impurities. These various impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.

    Types Main article: List of types of marble

    Examples of historically notable marble varieties and locations:

    Marble Color Location Country
    Carrara marble white or blue-gray Carrara Italy
    Al-Andalus marble Red Malaga Spain
    Black marble Black, white veins Tongshan County, Hubei China
    Costa Sol marble Bronze Malaga Spain
    San Cristobal Ivory Cream Beige Teba Spain
    Connemara marble green Connemara Ireland
    Creole marble white and blue/black Pickens County, Georgia United States
    Etowah marble pink, salmon, rose Pickens County, Georgia United States
    Murphy marble white Pickens and Gilmer Counties, Georgia United States
    Parian marble pure-white, fine-grained Island of Paros Greece
    Pentelic marble pure-white, fine-grained semitranslucent Penteliko Mountain, Athens Greece
    Purbeck marble Gray/brown Isle of Purbeck United Kingdom
    Ruskeala marble white near Ruskeala, Karelia Russia
    Rușchița marble white, pinkish, reddish Rușchița, Caraș-Severin County, Poiana Rusca Mountains Romania
    Sienna marble yellow with violet, red, blue or white veins near Siena, Tuscany Italy
    Bianco Sivec white near Prilep Republic of Macedonia
    Swedish green marble green near Kolmården, Södermanland Sweden
    Sylacauga marble white Talladega County, Alabama United States
    Vermont marble white Proctor, Vermont United States
    Yule marble uniform pure white near Marble, Colorado United States
    Wunsiedel marble white Wunsiedel, Bavaria Germany
    UsesRitual amphora of veined marble from Zakros. New palace period (1500-1450 BC), Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete.Marble Products in Romblon, Philippines.Sculpture

    White marble has been prized for its use in sculptures since classical times. This preference has to do with its softness, which made it easier to carve, relative isotropy and homogeneity, and a relative resistance to shattering. Also, the low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble sculptures of any kind, which is why many sculptors preferred and still prefer marble for sculpting.

    Construction marble

    Construction marble is a stone which is composed of calcite, dolomite or serpentine which is capable of taking a polish. More generally in construction, specifically the dimension stone trade, the term "marble" is used for any crystalline calcitic rock (and some non-calcitic rocks) useful as building stone. For example, Tennessee marble is really a dense granular fossiliferous gray to pink to maroon Ordovician limestone that geologists call the Holston Formation.

    Ashgabat, the capital city of Turkmenistan, was recorded in the 2013 Guinness Book of Records as having the world''s highest concentration of white marble buildings.


    According to the United States Geological Survey, U.S. domestic marble production in 2006 was 46,400 tons valued at $18.1 million, compared to 72,300 tons valued at $18.9 million in 2005. Crushed marble production (for aggregate and industrial uses) in 2006 was 11.8 million tons valued at $116 million, of which 6.5 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. For comparison, 2005 crushed marble production was 7.76 million tons valued at $58.7 million, of which 4.8 million tons was finely ground calcium carbonate and the rest was construction aggregate. U.S. dimension marble demand is about 1.3 million tons. The DSAN World Demand for (finished) Marble Index has shown a growth of 12% annually for the 2000–2006 period, compared to 10.5% annually for the 2000–2005 period. The largest dimension marble application is tile.

    Marble production is dominated by 4 countries that account for almost half of world production of marble and decorative stone. Italy is the world leader in marble production, with 20% share in global marble production followed by China with 16% of world production. India is third ranking with 10% of world production, followed by Spain in fourth ranking position with 6% of world production. The other marble producing countries of the world represent the remaining other half of world marble production.

    Microbial degradation

    The haloalkaliphilic methylotrophic bacterium Methylophaga murata was isolated from deteriorating marble in the Kremlin. Bacterial and fungal degradation was detected in four samples of marble from Milan cathedral; black Cladosporium attacked dried acrylic resin using melanin.

    Cultural associationsJadwiga of Poland''s sarcophagus by Antoni Madeyski, Wawel Cathedral, Cracow

    As the favorite medium for Greek and Roman sculptors and architects (see classical sculpture), marble has become a cultural symbol of tradition and refined taste. Its extremely varied and colorful patterns make it a favorite decorative material, and it is often imitated in background patterns for computer displays, etc.

    Places named after the stone include Marblehead, Ohio; Marblehead, Massachusetts; Marble Arch, London; the Sea of Marmara; India''s Marble Rocks; and the towns of Marble, Minnesota; Marble, Colorado; Marble Falls, Texas, and Marble Hill, Manhattan, New York. The Elgin Marbles are marble sculptures from the Parthenon that are on display in the British Museum. They were brought to Britain by the Earl of Elgin.

    Artificial marble

    Marble dust is combined with cement or synthetic resins to make reconstituted or cultured marble. The appearance of marble can be simulated with faux marbling, a painting technique that imitates the stone''s color patterns.

    The Nike of Samothrace is made of Parian marble (c. 220–190 BC) 
    Laocoön and His Sons in the Vatican 
    The Praetorians Relief, made from grey veined marble, c. 51–52 AD 
    Ancient marble columns in the prayer hall of the Mosque of Uqba, in Kairouan, Tunisia 
    Marble sculpture of St. John the Baptist by Igor Mitoraj at Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome 
    The Illinois Centennial Monument is cased in Tennessee marble and rests in the center of the square named for American Civil War General John A. Logan in Chicago 
    Cleopatra by William Wetmore Story was described and admired in Nathaniel Hawthorne''s romance, The Marble Faun, and is on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia 

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