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The word "marble" derives from the Greek "μάρμαρος" (mármaros), "crystalline rock", "shining stone", perhaps from the verb "μαρμαίρω" (marmaírō), "to flash, sparkle or gleam".
Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The characteristic swirls and veins of many colored marble varieties are usually due to various mineral impurities such as clay, silt, sand, iron oxides, or Chert which were originally present as grains or layers in the limestone. These impurities have been mobilized and recrystallized by the intense pressure and heat of the metamorphism.
The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals where textures and structures of the original limestone rock have been modified or destroyed. Marbles are typically hard and can be polished to high gloss. As softer than granite, highly decorative, some ware widely used as medium for sculptures and monuments.
Due to the high content of calcium that reacts vigorously with acidic or alkali substances, marbles are to be used with caution in operating areas like kitchens or bathrooms. Juice, vinegar or soap will react with it and with prolonged exposure will etch the surface living visible marks. Also selecting marble for high traffic floor areas may result in high maintenance costs due to wear and tear. Otherwise marble, when used with caution, is a perfect material to be utilized in bathrooms, on vanity tops or fireplaces.