Marble is a beautiful, natural stone that has been used to make buildings and artworks for thousands of years in some very famous places, for example, you’ll see Marble floors in the Pantheon, Buckingham Palace and the Taj Mahal. Our experts know how precious Marble is so below we’re looking at how it’s formed and where Marble is found.
How Is Marble Formed
Marble is a metamorphic rock, which means ‘rock that has changed’. Metamorphic rocks are formed from other materials already existing on the earth’s surface. Igneous rocks are formed directly from lava or the earth’s molten core. Marble is formed from limestone. In geological terms, Marble is a crystallized form of limestone or dolomite.
Stonecutters use a broader definition – we’ll call the crystallized forms of a few other stones Marble, too, as they have similar veining and take the same high gloss polish in a way other stones don’t. This is because stone cutters have been working with Marble for thousands of years, long before anyone could tell the difference between calcium carbonate and magnesium silicate. They both look beautiful, so what does it matter?
Limestone is usually formed from shells, coral and algae that have collected on the seafloor and being compressed over thousands of years. Sometimes, the shells and bones of creatures that lived long ago survive this process. As a result, you can sometimes still see fossils in your marble floor or tiles.
Where do the Swirls come from?
The beautiful and unique patterns in natural Marble are a major reason for its value as these patterns are formed by deposits of minerals which existed in the limestone before it was affected by extreme heat and pressure in the earth’s crust. The minerals react to the pressure differently than the stone did, forming veins and patterns.
How are the colours formed in Marble?
When you think of Marble, you probably picture a milky white colour but this isn’t the only option available! Due to the presence of various minerals and salts, Marble takes on many stunning natural colours, from pure white to shimmering greens; these different colours are caused by different substances. For example, black veins or grey shading is usually caused by carbon impurities while green is linked to serpentine.
Modern marble production
Marble is found around the world making it a symbol of luxury in so many cultures. Today, four countries quarry almost half of the world’s marble. They are: Italy, China, India and Spain. However, many other countries produce marble, too.
As each seam of marble is formed by a unique set of circumstances, Marble from different quarries is often strikingly different. In some cases, even Marble from the same seam can look very different depending on the type and quantity of minerals present. This natural patterning is unrepeatable, each slab is completely unique however this does mean that Marble can be hard to match. This makes it important to make sure you order enough for your whole project at once.
So where is Marble found? Well, now you know!
At Surrey Marble & Granite we have a wide variety of different colours and styles of marble that can be made into a range of features for your home including bathrooms, kitchen worktops, Marble Staircases, stone flooring and more. Speak to one of our natural stone experts today to discuss your design requirements today.