Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama
Official State Rock
Marble is a metamorphic rock consisting of fine- to coarse-grained recrystallized calcite (limestone) or dolomite. Marble may be white, pink, gray, red, or black in color, depending on the impurities in the original limestone or dolomite. In Alabama the major source of marble is in Talladega County, where it occurs in a narrow outcrop belt from the Coosa River to southeast of Talladega. This area is known as the Sylacauga marble belt. Marble in the Sylacauga area is known for its high-grade crystalline texture, whiteness, and beauty. Marble from Sylacauga has been quarried, cut, and polished for over 160 years for use as monument stone and building stone throughout the state and the country. The Sylacauga marble has been used in numerous works of fine art, many of which can be seen in the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Sylacauga marble is now marketed primarily as a filler, agricultural soil conditioner, and micronized marble which is shipped as a slurry for use in paper pigment and coating. Since 1900 approximately 30 million tons of marble have been quarried in Sylacauga.
Marble is plentiful in the Alabama counties of Talladega, Bibb, Calhoun, Clay, Coosa, Etowah, Lee, Macon, St. Clair, and Shelby. One site in Talladega county is 200 feet thick. Much of the state's marble has been used in buildings all over the United States. Crushed marble also is used for textiles, paints, electrical insulation and plastics.
Marble became the state rock after the legislature passed Act no.755 in 1969.
Acts of Alabama, September 12, 1969.
Geological Survey of Alabama. The Geological Survey of Alabama has many maps and publications describing mineral resources in Alabama. Contact the publication office at 420 Hackberry Lane, P.O. Box 869999, Tuscaloosa, AL 35486-9780.
Updated: January 14, 2010