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Marble: varieties and origin

Marble in the most prestigious Palacio Real de Madrid

Marble

Marble reigns over the mineral world by its beauty and the use that is made of it in the most prestigious buildings.

Many abuses of language are observed on the word “marble” in ceramics producers and agglomerated products such as resin base products for marketing purposes. These products are not of natural origin and are the result of chemical and thermal processes whose durability and safety is not proven. It is always advisable to inquire about the natural origin of a marble.

Sculpture of white marble

Sculpture of white marble

Pure marble is white. Its capillary power promotes the introduction of components that interact with it.

These interior elements form veining or bands, or color the stone which can become ocher, yellow, red or brown. The varieties of marble are not lacking.

The marble of the sculptors, the statuario

The marble of the sculptors, the statuario

The marble of the sculptors, the statuario, is perfectly white. It comes mainly from Tuscany, the municipalities of Carrara and Seravezza. It is also used in the decoration of many buildings in cities with different cultures such as the Palacio Real de Madrid, the Masjid al-Haram Mosque in Saudi Arabia or the Mausoleum of the Bab in Israel.

Masjid al-HaramMosque in Saudi Arabia

Masjid al-HaramMosque in Saudi Arabia

Varieties and colors of marble

Marble varieties can be classified into three groups. The veins are of uniform color and are crossed by veins of various colors. Under the pressure of too much pressure, the marble cracked, opening passages for organic or mineral sediments that gave their color. The bricks are formed of marble debris and other rocks. Clouds also consist of fragments, but in the form of clouds.

purple marble

Exquisite purple marble

green marble

Above: Beautiful green marble

The sediments that mixed with the marble gave it its color, sometimes by oxidation. The green color is for example due to chromium, iron and copper salts. Purple is given by manganese. Blacks and grays come from carbon.

Black and gold marble

Black and gold marble

Beautiful Grey marble

Beautiful Grey marble

Stunning brown marble

Stunning brown marble

Ritz Gray marble
Ritz Gray marble

Ritz Gray marble

Origin of the word “marble”

The universality of marble is reflected even in its etymology. In ancient Greece, one finds its name under the term of marmaros. It is also found in Arabic with the term “marmar”. This name is still used to name the Tehran marble palace, the Kâkh-e Marmar. This name finally gave the Marmorean  adjective, meaning “which has nature or the aspect of marble”.

Tehran marble palace: the Kâkh-e Marmar

Tehran marble palace: the Kâkh-e Marmar

A little history of marble

Marble was formed about 400 million years ago. Metamorphic rock derived from limestone for geologists, it is the increase in pressure and temperature that has transformed this marble material in some parts of the planet.

Antique marbles are traditionally spoken of as opposed to modern marbles, depending on the Greek-Roman origin or not the quarries from which they were extracted.

White marble

White marble

White marble was used by the early Greeks and then by the Romans in architecture and sculpture, as evidenced by the remains of Athens. After a period of neglect, it became a material sought after the Renaissance throughout Europe. In France, it reached its peak during the construction of the Palace of Versailles.

marble at Versailles Palace: The trianon

Marble at Versailles Palace: The trianon

The peristyle of the Grand Trianon of Versailles

The peristyle of the Grand Trianon of Versailles, with columns, capitals, pilasters and pavement in different varieties of marble