Marble is a natural stone that has amazed people with its mesmerizing beauty and unique qualities since the dawn of the world. When cut and polished this unique stone can be used for a great variety of stuff: floor and wall tiles, mosaics, facing stone, architectural panels, window sills, columns, stair treads, as decorative stone, for indoor and outdoor furniture, decoration accents and many more.
In addition to its numerous qualities and properties, marble also has a funny side. Let’s have a look at it.
Interesting facts about the origin and name of marble
Most probably everybody knows that marble is a metamorphic rock but here are a few less known and interesting facts about its origin.
- It takes hundreds of years for marble to form and therefore it is found among the oldest parts of the Earth’s crust.
- Marble starts its life as limestone or dolomite and due to pressure and heat it transforms into a harder, denser and more colourful stone.
- Some of the key marble components are calcite, dolomite crystals and aragonite.
- Marble is usually found among other metamorphic rock such as gneiss and mica.
- In Patagonia, Chile you can see the most beautiful blue marble formed in partly submerged caves.
It is curious that in ancient times people were able to tell where does the marble come from just looking at its colour. Now, there are still kids of marble that bear their historical name derived from the place of its origin. Here are a few examples:
- Carrara Marble and Luni from Italy
- Durango Marble from Coyote Quarry, Mexico
- Thassos, Paros and Penteli from Greece
- Rouge de Rance from Rance, Belgium
- Proconnesus from Turkey
- Macael from Spain
- Black Marble from Kilkenny, Ireland
- Royal White and Beijing White from China
- Yule from Colorado
- Danby from Vermont
- Boticena and Onyx (Green) from Pakistan
Unusual marble uses
We know that marble can be used for a great variety of purpose both as interior and exterior material. We often see it in the bathroom, the kitchen, admire the eternal buildings and sculptures made of it but there are also other amazing marble creations that perhaps will never cross your mind. Here are a few:
- Carrara Marble is used for iPhone 7 and notebook cases.
- There are companies who make frames for eyeglasses out of marble.
- The fine powder of ground marble is used as a component in paints, plastics, paper and toothpaste
- Pulverized marble is also used in pharmaceuticals. As it neutralizes acids, marble is a component of medicine such as Tums and Alka-Seltzer that are used to treat acid indigestion.
- Powder marble is also given to dairy cows and chicken as a source of calcium.
- As acid neutralizer crashed marble is also used in the chemical industry or to reduce acid content of rivers, lakes or soils.
- Marble powder is used as a mild abrasive to scrub bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
Famous buildings made of marble
There are many famous buildings and constructions that are made of marble both ancient and modern ones. Here is a list of just three examples that will make you smile:
- The famous Taj Mahal is made entirely of white marble
- Michelangelo chose pure white marble for his sculptures as it is translucent and light actually penetrates about 1 inch into the surface before being reflected. This makes his statutes of people look almost alive.
- 530.000 cubic feet of marble were used for the construction of the New York Public Library, which was finished in 1911. The stone was used for flooring and to cover the exterior walls. The employees were required to wear rubber-soled shoes in order not to scratch the stone
Places named after marble
Not only marble is named after the place it comes from. In the world there are also several locations and settlements named after marble. Some of the most popular examples include:
- The Marble Arch in London
- The Sea of Marmara
- The Marble Rocks in India
- The town of Marble, Minnesota
- The town of Marble, Colorado
- Marble Hill in Manhattan, New York
Interesting marble qualities
Marble is well-known for its qualities like durability, easy maintenance, resistance to bad weather and the incredibly amazing collection of colours, however there are also a few more properties that will make you choose it for your next renovation project.
- Because of its density and durability marble is also hypoallergenic. Therefore, it is a popular choice for people with allergies or for families with small kids.
- Marble is heat resistant, it doesn’t absorb heat or energy quickly and is quite suitable for countries with hot climate. That is one of the reasons why this amazing stone is so often found in the Mediterranean countries and in India.
- There are no two slabs of marble that have exactly the same pattern. This makes the stone so unique but also means that you have to pay extra attention when choosing floor or wall tiles and always order from the same batch.
- Marble can be a host rock for corundum, spinel and other gem minerals, even rubies. There is an interesting specimen of white marble with a large red ruby in it found in Afghanistan.
- When marble is cut into blocks and slabs of specific size it is referred to as “dimension stone”.
As you can see marble has amazing visible and hidden features and usages and can be part of our everyday life in many forms. We can truly describe it as one of the miracles of mother nature.