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Granular limestone or dolomite that has recrystallized under the influence of heat, pressure, and aqueous solutions. The main mineral in marble is calcite. Commercially, marble includes all decorative calcium-rich rocks that can be polished, as well as some serpentines. Marbles are used principally for buildings and monuments, interior decoration, statuary, tabletops, and novelties. Colour and appearance are their most important qualities. Statuary marble, the most valuable variety, must be pure white and of uniform grain size.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on marble, visit Britannica.com.