Whether you’re driving on it, climbing on it, or cooking on it, there’s no arguing that granite is one of the most prevalent, cost-effective, environmentally sound, and useful types of natural stone on Earth. Granite is extremely strong, right up there with diamonds on the hardness scale, so it’s perfect for bathroom and kitchen countertops, as well as in other types of building applications.
Since this natural stone can be found all over the world and is estimated to have been around for 300 million years, it is an integral part of history and culture on an international scale. Let’s do some traveling and explore eight of the most interesting facts about granite.
- Granite is a naturally occurring stone, first exploited by the Egyptians several thousands of years ago. The temple complex of Amun-Ra at Luxor is said to have taken just seven months to create from a single block of granite.
- Because granite doesn’t contain chemicals or emit harmful gasses, granite is considered an eco-friendly product. If you are looking for a surface that is good for the environment, granite may be among your best, most thoughtful choices.
- In Yosemite National Park, in the Sierra Nevada of California, the granite formations of El Capitan and Half Dome glow with brilliant reds and oranges at sunset. This is a bonus to the outstanding climbing opportunities the Yosemite formations give to visitors.
- Since Granite is one of the hardest substances in the world, it was chosen to form the pedestal on which the Statue of Liberty stands. Also because of its durability, granite was also the impetus for the first commercial railroad in the United States — the “Granite Railway” of Quincy, Mass.
- Granite is an igneous rock, meaning that it was formed by the cooling and solidification of magma. It is cut from rock beneath Earth’s surface. Other types of rocks include sedimentary rocks, like limestone and travertine, and metamorphic rocks, like marble and quartzite. As it is created from volcanic magma, granite can easily resist temperatures of up to 480 degrees.
- Blue Hone granite, taken from the island of Ailsa Craig, west of mainland Scotland, is used in the manufacture of curling stones. Curling is a sport, included in the Winter Olympics, in which players slide heavy, polished granite stones on a sheet of ice toward a target, similar to shuffleboard, bowls, and boules.
- The highest granite mountain in the world is Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas. At 8,586 meters, Kanchenjunga is the third-highest mountain in the world, behind Everest (which is limestone) and K2 (which is gneiss).
- Mount Rushmore in South Dakota was carved in a granite mountain, using dynamite and jackhammers (at least to start) from 1927 to 1941. Rushmore depicts the faces of four U.S. presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt — and involved 400 people in its construction. More than 3 million tourists visit Mount Rushmore each year.
When you’re considering a new surface for your renovation or construction project, bring a touch of history and culture to your choices with granite. Not only does this natural stone come in white, black, or gray, but you may also choose from pink, green, blue and other colors to match your home’s current palette, or to create a new sparkling design for your bathroom or kitchen. Contact us and get professional assistance today!