What Are The Different Types Of Marble?

Slabs of Carrara marble in a marble quarry in Carrara, Italy.
Slabs of Carrara marble in a marble quarry in Carrara, Italy.

Marble is a rock popularly used in sculpturing and the construction. The aesthetic properties of the rock make it excellent in the cladding of buildings. Marble has been used in the construction of many of the world’s iconic structures including the Washington Monument, the Taj Mahal, the Lincoln Memorial, and the AON Center among many others. The marble types are usually named after the regions from which they are produced. Some of the notable marbles include the Etowah marble, the Parian marble, the Yule marble, Makrana marble, the Nero Marquina marble, the Sylacauga marble, the Creole marble, and the Carrara marble.

Types of Marble

Nero Marquina Marble

Markina, a region found in the northern part of Spain produces a black marble known as the Nero Marquina marble. The marble’s unique black color and top-quality have resulted in high demand for construction projects. Because of its global popularity, the Nero Marquina marble is recognized as one of Spain’s most important marbles.

Sylacauga Marble

Also known as the Alabama marble, the Sylacauga marble is found in the town of Sylacauga in Alabama’s Talladega County. The marble is known for its white color and is sometimes referred to as the “world’s whitest marble.” The marble is recognized in Alabama as the official rock of the state. The Sylacauga marble’s white color makes it excellent in sculpturing and construction projects. The Supreme Court Building, the Somerset County Courthouse, and the Mormon Temple are some of the buildings whose construction incorporated the use of the Sylacauga marble. Besides being used in sculpturing, the marble has many other applications including soil amendment and as a paint pigment.

Makrana Marble

The makrana marble is a white marble which is known for its beauty and durability. The marble gets its name from the town of Makrana, India where it is mined from the local quarries. These quarries are believed to be the oldest in the country used solely in the production of marble. The marble has been used in the construction of many of India’s iconic buildings. The best example of a construction which made good use of the makrana marble is the Taj Mahal which is entirely clad in makrana marble. The marble is an important export item for India and is sold to foreign markets in Europe, Asia, and America. An estimated 0.12 million tons of the marble is produced from the mines in Makrana and surrounding regions.

Etowah Marble

The Etowah marble is produced from Tate, Georgia and is also known as the Georgia pink marble. The name is attributed to the marble’s distinct purple coloring, but it also features rose and salmon colorings. Some of the buildings which feature this type of marble include the Omaha-based Joslyn Art Museum, New College of Florida’s Cook Hall, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, all of which are found in the United States.

Yule Marble

Colorado’s Yule Creek Valley is home to numerous quarries which are the only place on earth where the Yule marble is produced. The Yule marble is unlike many other types of marble as it is mined in regions of high elevation. Due to its availability and smooth texture, the marble has been used in the construction of many buildings in Colorado and other surrounding states. Examples of structures which are built using Yule marble include the Merchants National Bank, the Colorado State Museum, the Washington Monument, and the Tomb of the Unknowns. The entire exterior of the Lincoln Memorial is also made up of this type of marble.

Swedish Green Marble

The Swedish Green Marble is a rock produced in quarries found in Sweden’s Ostergotland Province. The marble’s distinctive green coloring makes it a popular option in adding aesthetics to construction projects. The marble has been used in the construction of many prominent buildings in Stockholm including the Stockholm Palace, the Matchstick Palace, the Stadshuset, and Drottningholm Palace.

Creole Marble

This type of marble is produced in the quarries found in Georgia’s Pickens County, and it is from this source that the marble gets its other name, Georgia marble. The Creole marble exists in three different types based on coloring and tone; dark, medium, and light creole marbles. The exceptional beauty and strength of the creole marble make it a popular choice in the construction of national monuments in the United States. Examples of notable buildings whose construction featured the use of creole marble include the Carillon of the Bok Tower Gardens found in Florida and the Capitol Building in Washington, DC

Carrara Marble

One of the most popular marble types is the Carrara marble which has been used for thousands of years in construction and sculpturing. The marble is named after the city of Carrara in Italy from which the bulk of the rock is produced. The Carrara marble was popularly used in sculpturing during the Renaissance and many of the sculptures of that period were carved from Carrara marble including many of those attributed to Michelangelo. The marble was also used in the construction of many structures in Ancient Rome including the Trajan’s Column and the Pantheon.

Parian Marble

Parian marble is a type of marble which is produced in the Mediterranean islands of Paros. The marble is among the few marble types in the world which are entirely flawless. The marble was particularly popular in classical era in Greece. Some of the best Greek sculptures from this era were made from the Parian marble. Examples of sculptures carved from this type of marble include the “Medici Venus” and the “Nike of Samothrace.” The ancient Greeks obtained the marble from quarries found in the northern part of the island of Paros.

Global Production of Marble

Despite many types of marble being sourced from quarries in the United States, the United States is not the largest producer of the rock in the world. Spain, Italy, China, and India are recognized as the top marble-producing countries in the world. Italy and China account for a combined 32% of the global annual marble production. These four marble-producing countries account for over 50% of the global marble exports with Italy alone accounting for about 20% of the global marble exports.

Notable Marble Types

1Wunsiedel marbleGermany
2Pentelic marbleGreece
3Parian marbleGreece
4Makrana marbleIndia
5Carrara marbleItaly
6Bianco SivecMacedonia
7Rușchița marbleRomania
8Ruskeala marbleRussia
9Nero Marquina marbleSpain
10Swedish green marbleSweden
11Creole marbleUnited States
12Etowah marbleUnited States
13Murphy marbleUnited States
14Sylacauga marbleUnited States
15Vermont marbleUnited States
16Yule marbleUnited States

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