Natural Wonders Table of Contents
Natural Wonders is a series consisting of 11 parts.
- Natural Wonders: Quaking Aspen Trees
- Natural Wonders: Monarch Butterflies
- Natural Wonders: Barred Owls
- Natural Wonders: Hot Springs
- Natural Wonders: Grizzly Bears
- Natural Wonders: Marble
- Natural Wonders: Fall Aster
- Natural Wonders: Black Widow Spider
- Natural Wonders: Gray Wolf
- Natural Wonders: Bald Eagles
- Natural Wonders: Arctic Fox
The word “marble” is derived from Greek origin of a term which means “shining stone.” If you’ve seen marble in a finished form—as a sculpture, countertop, tile, wall or siding—you may understand why the natural gem is so often used to decorate our developed world.
High-quality marble is known for its bright and white color, and has been used for centuries in decorative building and architecture. Marble can also be a paler white or have a slight pink or red tint, and sometimes the purest forms of the rock can seem almost transparent.
Marble is created in a metamorphosis process, and its characteristic swirls or veins come from impurities such as silt, sand and clay that are present in its rock composition.
Marble is a “non-foliated, granular metamorphic rock that is formed by the metamorphism of limestone and dolostone,” according to the Mineral Informational Institute. The whitest marble comes from sources of limestone and dolostone that are considered pure and clean, with low amounts of silicate.
Marble is found in mountainous regions all over the world, but specifically in areas with dramatic metamorphism—notably Italy, Spain, Greece, Turkey, China, Poland, Ireland and Mexico, and in the United States, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Vermont and Tennessee. The town of Marble is located in Colorado, which is where the historic Yule Quarry is located. The site has been known to produce marble of exceptional quality since the late 19th century.
Marble has been historically carved into famous statues and structures, most notably in ancient Rome. In the present day, marble is a highly sought after rock and it is commonly used in sculpture and building projects.
Marble can be crushed and combined with other types of stone—such as sandstone and quartz—for projects which include highway repair and building construction. Marble is also cut into thin sheets and slabs to be used as a finishing stone in kitchen and bathrooms, on the outside of buildings and on landscaping design.