Marble rock

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Marble is an attractive rock with a crystalline structure having many decorative and structural uses, e.g. on walls, floors and staircases within New Zealand's Parliament House. Surface oxidation colour varies (see pictures).

Metamorphic: Formed from the recrystallisation of limestone or dolomite.

Source location: Tasman.

Sizes: Choose from dropdown menu either Shelf specimen (300–800g), or Hand specimen (less than 300g)

Note: Images are examples of specimens only. Sizes and shapes will vary.

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Marble is a metamorphic rock formed from the recrystallisation of limestone or dolomite. It exhibits a crystalline structure with interlocking mineral grains.



Physical properties of marble

  • Colour: Can occur in various colours, including white, grey, pink, green, or black, depending on impurities and mineral composition.
  • Lustre: Typically exhibits a vitreous or glassy lustre, enhancing its aesthetic appeal.
  • Hardness: Low to medium hardness, ranging from 3 to 5 on the Mohs scale.
  • Density: Ranges from 2.5 to 2.7 grams per cubic centimetre.
  • Cleavage: Poor to absent cleavage, breaking with irregular fractures.

General properties of marble

  • Recrystallisation: Forms through the recrystallisation of limestone or dolomite under high heat and pressure, resulting in its distinct crystalline structure.
  • Veining: Often features veining or patterns created by the presence of various minerals, such as calcite or quartz.
  • Polishing: Can be polished to achieve a smooth, shiny surface, enhancing its aesthetic qualities.
  • Weathering Resistance: Resistant to weathering and can retain its beauty and structural integrity over time.
  • Acid Sensitivity: Sensitive to acids and can be etched or damaged by acidic substances.

Uses of marble in New Zealand and worldwide

  • Construction and Architecture: Widely used as a construction material for flooring, wall cladding, countertops, and decorative elements due to its aesthetic appeal and durability.
  • Sculpture and Art: Used for centuries in sculpture and art, allowing for intricate carving and detailed designs.
  • Monuments and Statues: Many iconic monuments and statues are made from marble, symbolising elegance and longevity.
  • Interior Design: Used in interior design for fireplace surrounds, tabletops, bathroom vanities, and other decorative features.
  • Flooring: Its smooth and elegant appearance makes it a popular choice for high-end residential and commercial flooring.
  • Restorations and Historic Preservation: Utilised in the restoration of historical buildings and monuments, maintaining their original grandeur.