Marble is a metamorphic rock that belongs to the non-foliated class, meaning it lacks a layered or banded appearance. Formed from the metamorphism of limestone or dolostone, marble is characterized by its interlocking mosaic of calcite or dolomite crystals. The rock exhibits a variety of colors, including white, gray, pink, green, and black, often with swirling or veined patterns that contribute to its aesthetic appeal.

Mineral Makeup

Marble is primarily composed of calcite (CaCO3) or dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2), which are both carbonate minerals. The specific mineral composition and the presence of impurities, such as clay, silt, or iron oxides, influence the rock’s color and patterning. It is these impurities that often create the characteristic veining and swirls seen in marble.


Marble forms through the metamorphism of limestone or dolostone under conditions of heat and pressure. During this process, the original carbonate minerals recrystallize, resulting in a denser, more compact rock with an interlocking crystal structure. This recrystallization process is what gives marble its unique appearance and desirable properties.


Marble is found in regions with significant limestone or dolostone deposits that have experienced metamorphism. Some of the most famous marble deposits are located in Carrara, Italy; Paros and Penteli, Greece; Macael, Spain; and the Danby Quarry in Vermont, United States. Marble has been highly prized for centuries for its beauty, durability, and versatility in construction, sculpture, and design.


Marble is believed to possess metaphysical properties related to clarity, self-control, and inner strength. It is thought to encourage serenity and promote emotional balance, helping individuals overcome stress and maintain a calm demeanor during challenging times. Marble is also associated with spiritual growth and the development of intuition and psychic abilities.

ClassMetamorphic (Non-foliated)
Mineral MakeupPrimarily calcite or dolomite
LusterVitreous to dull
Hardness (Mohs)3-4
StreakWhite or colorless
ColorWhite, gray, pink, green, black, with possible veining and swirls
CleavagePerfect (calcite), good (dolomite) 
Specific Gravity2.6 to 2.7