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Where Does Granite Come From?

The origin of granite goes back millions of years. Granite quarries can be found all over the world: India, Egypt, Spain, Brazil, Norway and Africa to name a few. Canada and the United States also produce some very lovely granite. Where the stone originates has a high impact on the cost of the stone because of transportation and labor. Red granites and blue granites tend to be priced a bit higher than the other colors because they are quite rare.

Granite is a very hard, crystalline, igneous rock primarily composed of feldspar, quartz, orthoclase or microcline accompanied by one or more dark minerals. It is visibly homogeneous in texture. It is the most common plutonic rock of the earth's crust, formed by the cooling of magma (silicate melt) at depth.

To explain the source of granite we must go back to the formation of the earth’s crust. Large granite bodies may have formed within the earth’s crust by intrusion of new magma or by the re-melting of igneous varieties of crustal rocks. The evolutionary history of granite can be revealed by examining the chemistry of successive layers of its large constituent crystals, notably zircon. Granite is formed by the recycling of deep crustal rocks as mantle magma rose through them, rather than by re-melting the ancient, shallower crust, as was widely believed.

Granite is typically medium to coarse grained, occasionally with some individual crystals larger than the groundmass forming a rock known as porphyry. Granite can be pink to dark gray or even black, depending on their chemistry and mineralogy. Outcrops of granite tend to form tors, rounded massifs, and terrains of rounded boulders cropping out of flat, sandy soils. Granite sometimes can occur in circular depressions surrounded by a range of hills, formed by the metamorphic aureole or hornfels.

Granite is nearly always massive, hard and tough, and it is for this reason it has gained widespread use as a construction stone. The word granite comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock. For this reason granite is used as a building material in the form of granite tiles and granite slabs for wall cladding, roofing, flooring, a variety of other interior and exterior applications and especially for countertops, kitchen work tops and vanity units and remains the most popular material for memorials and monuments. Granite has a prominent place among dimensional stones because of its hardness, resistance to weathering, capability to take mirror polish, fascinating colors and textural patterns.

Despite being fairly common throughout the world, the areas with the most commercial granite quarries are located in the Scandinavian Peninsula (mostly in Finland and Norway), Spain (mostly Galicia and Extremadura), Brazil, India and several countries in the Southern end of the African continent, namely Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

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