Marble, a splendid natural stone has been used to construct buildings, houses and works of art for thousands of years. From famous tourist attractions, such as the Taj Mahal or the Buckingham Palace, to the interior design of elegant and luxurious houses, marble has played an important role in all of history. But how does marble form and where does it come from? Keep reading in order to find out!
How is marble formed?
Marble is a metamorphic rock that has undergone transformation processes which occur at high pressures and temperatures. The metamorphic stones are made up of other existing materials on the surface of the earth. In the case of marble, it is made out of limestone and from a geological point of view marble is a crystallized form of limestone or dolomite. Marble forms at converging borders of the plaques, where the metamorphic process occurs.
The main countries where marble is extracted.
Due to the process described above, marble can be hundreds of feet thick and stretches over large geographic areas. Marble mines and quarries are located in these areas, where the material is extracted in its natural form. The main countries that extract and produce marble are Italy and China. But we also find marble carriers in other countries, from India to Spain, Portugal and even in Romania.
Why does marble have different colors?
Simple white marble is not the only option we can find. Due to the presence of various minerals and salts, marble is found in many stunning natural colors, from pink and brown to bright green. Different colors appear due to different substances. For example, black lines or gray shadows are usually caused by carbon impurities, while green is linked to a substance called serpentine.
As mentioned before, marble is found in a very wide palette of colors. The marble of the purest limestone is white. Iron oxide lime impurities will produce a yellow, orange, pink or red color. The abundant bituminous materials may produce dark marble or dark gray marble.
What can marble be used for?
Very few rocks have so many uses as marble. We find it in many constructions but also in various other fields. It is used for its beauty in architecture and sculpture. Moreover, it is used for its chemical properties in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Marble is also appreciated for its optical properties in cosmetics, paint and paper production. The fact that it is abundant and is relatively inexpensive in the form of crushed stone recommends it for many construction projects. Therefore, marble has many unique properties that make it a valuable rock in various industries.
How is the cost of marble influenced?
The cost of marble varies greatly from one place to another, due to a wide range of factors. The final price varies depending on:
1) Market availability of each type of marble
By the 1990s marble came in limited quantities and was considered very expensive. However, starting with the late 1990s, countries such as China, Brazil and India have started mass marble production, which made it more accessible, at a cheaper price.
2) The cost of production
The places where marble is found are located in remote areas and are not easily accessible. In many cases, marble companies face high costs to access the material and this translates in additional costs for the final buyer.
The factor that mostly influences the price of marble is its quality. The quality of marble is determined by the mixture of minerals and the conditions in which it was formed. So far, the best quality marble comes from Italy and Brazil. Careers in these countries offer marble in its purest form. Pure marble is heavy, dense and does not crack easily. It also has a constant flow of color, both inside the structure and on its surface.
In conclusion, marble is a rare rock, found in limited places around the world. If you plan on getting marble, you have to keep in mind the cost of the material plus the transport. Take your time to explore and visit the locations where you can see it displayed and ask people about their experience. The BrownStone team can provide you with the best expertise in the field so you can make the best choice on what type of marble you buy!