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Marble is formed from limestone. The heat and pressure in the Earth’s crust changes the texture and the composition of limestone to form large grains of calcite through the process of re-crystallization. Many natural stones, including limestone and travertine, are referred to as marble because the surface of the stone can be polished to a high gloss finish. True marble, however, is produced through the changes in the structure of the stone due to metamorphic events.

The temperatures and pressures necessary to form marble usually destroy any fossils and sedimentary textures present in the original rock. The impurities present in the limestone during recrystallization affect the mineral composition of the marble which is formed.

The minerals that result from impurities give marble a wide variety of colors. The purest calcite marble is white in color. 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.

Marble has always been highly valued for its beauty, strength and resistance to fire and erosion. In the home, it is commonly used for flooring, stone home furnishings, fireplace surrounds, pillars and structural resurfacing.


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