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Since ancient times marble and granite have been highly valued by builders and carvers for their beauty and unique properties. Let us get acquainted with these materials.

Marble – is a grained metamorphic carbonate rock, resulting from recrystallisation of limestone or dolomite. Thus, marble consists of calcite (calcium carbonate), or of dolomite (calcium and magnesium carbonate), and sometimes of the both. The famous property of marble – easiness of polisheness – results from the close cohesion of calcite grains.

As a rule, marble colour is rather light, but where even a slight number of admixtures (silicates, iron oxides or graphite) is present, the colour might change starting from yellow towards brown or red and sometimes even black or green.

Marble may be short-grained or hard-grained. In the latter case one can cometimes see the rhombic cleavage of its grains. Hardness of marble is 3, apparent density 2.63 – 2.92 (typically 2.7). Marble will show different reactions to acids. Regular calcite marble will boil and then dissolve, and dolomite marble will boil only in powder state. Calcite marble has outstanding electrical insulation properties.

There many marble deposits all over the world, but marble from those various deposits is different in terms of its properties. Marble from Italy is highly valued all over the globe. The famous snow-white sculpture marble is found in Carrara, Italy.

The Carrara marble is considered something like one of the wonders of the world. It is able to permit light through for 4 cm. The famous Michelangelo sculptures are made from Carrara marble. Snow-white and shining, this stone is still used for the most complicated works in carving and construction. Yellow Paros marble, found in Greece, is also famous all over the globe. Ancient Greeks carved and constructed using this marble. The USA and North African states extract marble. South Africa has a big deposit of dolomite marbles.

In Russia, East Ural and Sayany region are rich in marble. Other deposits in Irkutsk region, in South Yakutia and Kolsky peninsula have been explored very poorly.

Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia have big deposits of marble. In Armenia they develop deposits of pink and dark marble, in Georgia – of grey and grey-red marble.

Central Asian countries are especially rich in marble. Uzbekistan s famous for its pink marbles from Gazgan deposit, and for grey and pinkish marbles from Aman-Kutan deposit. And the snow-white sculptural marble from Uzbekistan Malguzar deposit is believed by experts to better than Carrara marble.

Marble deposits are developed in Finland, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cuba, France and Portugal.

Marble is normally extracted in quarries or in underground quarries. Special stone saws or stone-cutting machines are used to extract whole blocks of marble.

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