Stonework FAQ

Below is a list of fun facts about stone including materials, fabrication, and some little know ancient facts from before our time.

These facts are mostly regarding granite but there are a few describing stone/rocks in general.

  • The ancient city of Aswan in Egypt is home to the oldest known quarries in the world. Estimate carbon dating puts this quarry around 50,000 years old. It produced an abundance of red, grey, and black granite materials used in the burial chambers and monuments of the ancient Egyptian Royals. This includes the Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • Depending on the composition, most granite materials can withstand temperatures of up to 2,300 degree Fahrenheit before melting occurs.
  • In 1832, Alexander MacDonald of Aberdeen Scotland created the first granite polishing tool, which increased public demand for the stone materials and allowed for an expansion of granite operation.
  • By 1987 there were only two granite colors available in the marketplace and they sold for upwards of $90/square foot. Today, however, there are over a hundred colors to choose from…most of which are more affordable.
  • Diamonds are the only hardest material above granite.
  • The first US commercial railway (the “Granite Railway”) opened on October 7, 1826. It was located in Quincy, MA and it was built to haul granite from the Granite Railway Quarry to the Neponset River docks in Milton, MA.
  • According to the ancient Japanese, the breath of a white dragon formed quartz and respected it as defining perfection.
  • In some cultures/countries, aboriginals believe that quartz is a living entity and some even use them in rain rituals. An example of a living entity they would use quartz for is a crystal ball.
  • As early as the Late Archic Period (3,000-5,000 years ago), Native Americans in eastern North America used soapstone to make ornaments, smoking pipes, cooking slabs, etc. As early as 8,000 years ago, Native Americans on the west coast would ride 60 miles in canoes from North America to San Clemente Island in order to collect soapstone for effigy carving and cooking bowls.

These facts make 100% sense to us here at Midwest Marble & Granite because essentially, granite, quartz, soapstone, etc are rocks. Rocks have been dating back to before time and have existed since Earth has existed. Rocks have imperfections if they are not man-made. Trickle effect…granite countertops can have pits and imperfections in them as well. There are no two identical rocks in the world; therefore, there are no two identical slabs of stone. Interesting and fun to know huh?!