Many people confuse marble with granite, but they are completely different. Marble is an metamorphosed rock, which means that it was once limestone or dolomite (protolith), but under extreme heat and pressure the original mineral is broken down and recrystallized into what finally turns into marble. Pure white marble comes from pure limestone or dolomite. Colored marble and those with veins are a result of contamination from other minerals.
Uses of Marble
Marble is the favorite stone of sculptors and architects in ancient Rome and Greece because it is relatively soft and easy to carve without shattering. It also reflects light in a distinctive way, attributed to the low refraction index of calcite, giving the stone a waxy glow. Its use in classical sculpture is why it has become the symbol of refinement and taste. For all these reasons, sculptors prefer to work with marble to this day.
Crushed marble has many industrial uses. It is mixed with other materials to provide aggregates for use in highways, building foundations, and railroad beds. Pure white crushed marble is used in paint, plastic, grout, putty, whitewash, paper and cosmetics as a coloring agent (whiting) and filler.
Marble suitable as a dimension stone, meaning it is mainly for structural and decorative purposes, is mostly light colored, although there are dark or even black marble with white veins, which usually means they are not completely natural. Natural marble slabs are especially favored for kitchen countertops for making pastries, and bathroom vanities.