Sharon Koehler

Natural Stone: We all buy it, sell it, fab it and install it. Sometimes we love it and sometimes we hate it. Sometimes we cuss it and sometimes we just look at it in awe. As much as we all deal with it, I bet there are some things you still don’t know about it.

Did you know these facts about granite and marble?

  • Granite is the oldest igneous rock on Planet Earth.

  • The first chartered railway system in the United States was the Granite Railway. It was created to haul granite from Quincy, Massachusetts, to Milton, Massachusetts, to complete the Bunker Hill memorial.

  • The Statue of Liberty pedestal base is granite.

  • If you have ever watched the Winter Olympics, you have probably seen the sport of Curling. Curling stones are made of a fine grain granite, and not just any old stone will do. The source? Only two quarries in the world produce the quartz-free granite – one in Scotland, and one in Wales.

  • The Egyptian pyramids are partially made of granite blocks.

  • The tallest granite mountain in the world is Kangchenjunga, part of the Himalayas. It sits on the border between Nepal and India. It stands 28,169 feet tall and it also the third highest mountain in the world.

  • Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is made of limestone, marble and shale.

  • Pulverized marble is used to make Tums, Alka-Seltzer and some toothpaste.
    Pulverized marble is also fed to some livestock (chickens and cows, mostly) as a source of calcium (and no, that is not where “marbleized” beef comes from).

  • Marble is the state rock of Alabama.

  • The Taj Mahal – one of the architectural wonders of the modern world – is made entirely of marble. It is also a mausoleum.

  • In Patagonia, Chile, there are spectacular caves, partially under water, made entirely of a rare blue marble.

  • The stalactites and stalagmites in caves are created from the limestone that is left behind after the water evaporates.

  • Powdered limestone is used a thickening agent for paint. And blackboard chalk is made from limestone, not “chalk.”

  • Powered limestone is also used in coal mines for safety, as it absorbs pollutants.

  • The purest silica on the planet is found in quartzite.

  • Bricks and other building materials are made from or contain quartzite.

  • Due to quartzite’s high silica content, the soil around quartzite formations does not contain enough nutrients to support any sort of vegetation.

  • Sandstone can form under the ocean or on land.

  • Most grinding wheels are made from sandstone.

Some of this you probably knew. Hopefully, some of this you didn’t.  Now you just need to find a trivia game and show off!