Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. It is composed primarily of the mineral calcite (CaCO3) and usually contains other minerals, such as clay minerals, micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite. Under the conditions of metamorphism, the calcite in the limestone recrystallizes to form a rock that is a mass of interlocking calcite crystals. A related rock, dolomitic marble, is produced when dolostone is subjected to heat and pressure. Most marble forms at convergent plate boundaries where large areas of Earth’s crust are exposed to regional metamorphism. Some marble also forms by contact metamorphism when a hot magma body heats adjacent limestone or dolostone.
Below are just a few varieties, but BOSS has hundreds of options to choose from. Please stop by our showroom or call 716-857-0755.
Rome’s closest source of marble was modern Carrara in Tuscany, the same quarries that provided the blocks for Michelangelo’s David and Pietà and which continue to produce snow-white stone for artists and architects around the world. However, as the Romans expanded their control across Europe, they began to discover more and more exotic varieties.
Marble is formed through complex geological processes of heat and pressure which are incredibly variable and unpredictable; impurities and trace elements combine to produce different shades and qualities of stone. No two quarries are exactly the same, and local conditions across the Mediterranean created all the colors of the rainbow–and more. The Romans coveted these wondrous materials and brought them back to Italy to decorate their public buildings and private villas.