Posted on 3/21/2012 5:21 PM by Grace Jeffers

Let me count the ways...

Cool, elegant, timeless and infinitely shapeable--this is why we love marble. But how much do we actually know about it? Let’s explore this most sophisticated stone.

Consider this: All marble was once at the bottom of the ocean!: Marble is a metamorphic rock, formed from prehistoric fossilized tropical reefs. The reefs calcified under the earth's surface to form limestone--when limestone is compressed, marble is created.  

Most people think of marble as being white, but it actually comes in many different hues: Vermont marble from the Danby area in the middle of the state, on the west slopes of the Green Mountains, tends to be white in color.

Vermont Montclair Danby marble

Verde Antique

When you go a little further north to the Lake Champlain area, you find “Vermont verde antique” or serpentine marble, which is a luscious deep dark green. (Note: Generally, the darker the color, the harder the marble and the more resistant to surface scratches and abrasion.)

Veins are formed when the stone cracks under pressure, allowing fissures for other more liquid minerals to lace through. Calcite and quartz are the most common veining minerals found in marble.

The New England states provide a goldmine of metamorphic rocks, and Vermont has an amazing cross section of them, from slate on the western New York border, to granite and marble in the mountains. The marble deposit in Vermont is one of the largest in the world, and dates from the Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian eras.

1920's postcard showing marble loading in Proctor, Vermont

The richness of this natural resource is celebrated at The Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor, Vermont, which is solely dedicated to one of our favorite materials.

The Vermont Marble Museum