Granite is a common intrusive igneous rock and is a coarse grained crystalline composed primarily of quartz. It is visibly granular. Granite consists mainly of quartz, mica and feldspar. Granites can be pink to gray in color and it is alkali feldspar that gives many types of granite a distinctive pink color. Granite is one of the oldest, most durable and most respected of building materials.
Granite is typically the hardest of the dimensional stones and withstands the elements very well. Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is a granite monolith that is part of the Sierra Nevada batholith, an emplacement of igneous intrusive rock. The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.
Granite has a thick density and is fairly hard being equal to quartz. As a Building Stone, granite is suitable for structural and veneer building purposes including flooring, paving, and curbstones. It is suitable for either exterior or interior applications.
In the Dimension Stone industry some dark colored igneous rocks are sold as “black granite.” Even some sedimentary rocks will be listed and included along with truly granitic rock.
Granite is quarried around the world in large blocks and cut into dimensional stone. The world’s largest granite quarry is Rock of Ages in Barre, Vermont. However there are granite quarries throughout the United States especially in New England but also in Minnesota, Georgia, Missouri, and California. El Escorial in Madrid is the largest granite structure in the world. Marischal College formerly part of Aberdeen University in Scotland is the second largest granite building in the world. In Atlanta, GA, Stonehenge Mansion is a well-known example of Stone Mountain Granite.