Marble is a type of metamorphic rock that is made out of limestone. Metamorphic rocks are rocks that form from rocks that are already present, but go through some changes.
When limestone is squashed under many rocks and water over long periods, it turns into marble.
It is mainly made up of carbonate minerals like calcite or dolomite, which have ‘metamorphosed’ or changed (recrystallized) their composition.
The word “marble” comes from the Greek word “mármaron” which means “shining stone” or “crystalline rock”.
Marble is a more attractive stone than limestone, and it is tougher. Yet it is very rare, so it is extremely expensive.
Marble is usually white colour, but it does come in other colours too. It has been used from the times of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for statues and flooring.
Some of the greatest historical artefacts recovered from ancient civilizations show beautiful marble statues, which are some of the finest works of art in the world.
Thin sheets of marble were also used for walls of palaces and churches, to give a fancy touch to the simple brick wall.
Since marble is so rare and expensive, later on, people started using plaster frescoes on their walls, which they painted on to resemble marble.
The word “marble” is used for any type of limestone that has a polished finish.
Today marble is available in snow white, gray, black, red, yellow pink, green, buff and many other colors.
Marble is used for sculpting vases and other ornaments, and for construction purposes (in buildings).
The disadvantage of marble is that when it is exposed to water and acid fumes it corrodes. Therefore, in places which are often exposed and out there, using marble is a waste.
The process of extracting marble deposits is called “quarrying” and marble is quarried from various parts of the world.
In America, Vermont is the largest producer of marble, although California, Arizona, Colorado, Alabama and a few other states produce it too.