This is the standard factory finish for most granites and marbles. A polished surface is highly reflective and the least porous of the finishes available. Polished marbles can be etched with many household acids and cleaners. On-site surface refinishing is NOT recommended and can be spotty at best.
This finish adds texture to the surface. Additionally, it closes the pores (compared to honing) and retains the color better than honing. While a leathered finish has a sheen to it, it is no where near as reflective as a polished surface. A good analogy would be that a leathered finish is like a matte finish on a photograph whereas a polished surface is like a glossy photograph. Please note that the amount of texture will vary from stone-to-stone and some stones will not leather (especially extremely uniform materials). Leathering is preferred to honing for blacks and other very dark materials.
This finish adds gloss to the leathered finish; starting with a leathered finish and then “polishing” the high spots. This of course closes the pores more than leathered finish, but not as much as a polished finish.
This is the standard factory finish for schists and most limestones (most of which will NOT take a polish). Honing a polished material opens up the pore making it more susceptible to staining than the same material in a polished finish. At home re-finishing is possible, and the end result will vary from stone-to-stone. Honing will “gray out” or fade the color of the stone, this is more noticeable on darker materials than on lighter materials. A color enhancing sealer is available and may be used to restore the color (if desired). Also note that very dark materials (especially blacks) tend to end up with an un-even finish and a honed finish is not recommended.