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Marble with veins and their basic characteristics

Characteristics, how they are created and types of veins

It is well-known that when an architect, designer, decorator or manufacturer chooses to use marble as a material, in addition to the quality specifications, he or she looks to enhance the final aesthetic result of the work. As such, many choose their material based on visual characteristics first, usually leaving the techniques for the second stage. The veins and the color in the background of the marble are the determining criteria for the visual selection of the material, as they give the marble a unique and strong identity.

But what exactly are the veins, how are they created and in what categories do we group them? Read below the main basic characteristics of marble with veins.

What is marble veining?

The long lines or the line grid that cross the marble and make it unique are called veins. Veins are directly linked to the beauty and appearance of marble and are one of the key features that architects, manufacturers and decorators look for in the implementation of their projects.

How are marble veins created?

Marble is the result of the transformation of limestone (sedimentary carbonate rock) from heat and pressure in the earth’s crust. It is a typical example of how natural processes can change the structure and appearance of a material.

During these processes, various foreign elements such as metals, mud, clay and iron oxides, which are sometimes presented as grains and other as layers, are gradually trapped and manifest themselves in the stone, creating a color contrast with the basic color of the marble’s surface, thus forming the characteristic veins. This is the manner in which the veins are formed.

Natural vein formation can be unpredictable and differ even in slabs derived from the same marble block. Even though veins vary in thickness and color, depending on their shape, they can be categorized into certain specific groups. The consideration of the different color, thickness and types, are the main reasons that this material is used in sculpture and in interior and exterior architectural constructions.


The types of veins

The science of geology has thus far not grouped the marble veins into families; in spite of this, we could classify them into a few broad groups sharing similar characteristics.

  • Linear veins: Continuous, unidirectional and forked lines. The color of the veins is different from the background color, creating beautiful contrasts.
  • Tree veins: Branches where each line may have a different direction but share a common beginning. The well-known Veria Green marble is a typical example of tree veins.


  • Breccia veins: They come from large fragments of a mass where they were later incorporated into a new geological formation.Ebru Arabesque, with its thick brown/gray lines surrounding pieces of white stone, is an indicative example.


  • Shell stones: Atypical formations that can be likened to a shell and come from fossils entrapped inside the marble.Pelagonia is an indicative example, as it encases fossilized shells.

A different approach categorizes the veins mainly based on their formation, i.e., single, multiple, unidirectional, linear, diagonal, parallel, wavy, entangled, uniform, etc.

The combinations of the veins with the color in the background of the marble play, as mentioned above, a decisive role in the final visual result of a project. But how do we ensure the perfect combination of our tiles or slabs? Is there a specific way in which we place the veins when applying them? And most importantly, how do we achieve the optimal result when installing them?

There are 4 basic types of marble vein placement that can ensure the perfect aesthetic result. In a subsequent article, we will analyze these types and give useful advice and photos for their implementation.

Stone Group International, along with our affiliated companies, currently owns 9 quarries. From these quarries, a large amount of white, semi-white and colored marble  is extracted daily.

Ask us more about marbles with veins