Granite rock

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Granite is a coarse-grained durable rock with a crystalline structure. It has many aesthetic and practical uses, e.g. for monuments, gravestones and kitchen bench tops.

Igneous: Formed from molten magma cooling and solidifying while deep underground (therefore a 'plutonic igneous' rock).

Source location: Westland.

Sizes: Choose from dropdown menu either Shelf specimen (300–800g), or Hand specimen (150-300g), or Small specimen (less than 150g).

Note: Images are examples of specimens only. Sizes and shapes will vary.

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Granite is a coarse-grained plutonic igneous rock with a crystalline structure. It is composed mainly of quartz, feldspar, and mica minerals.


Plutonic igneous.

Physical properties of granite

  • Colour: Can have a wide range of colours, including white, grey, pink, red, or black. It often exhibits a speckled or mottled appearance.
  • Lustre: Has a crystalline lustre, which can vary from shiny to slightly dull, depending on the mineral composition.
  • Hardness: A hard rock, ranking around 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
  • Density: Ranges from 2.6 to 2.7 grams per cubic centimetre.
  • Fracture: Exhibits a granular fracture, breaking along interlocking mineral grains.

General properties of granite

  • Composition: Consists mainly of quartz, feldspar, and mica minerals. The proportions of these minerals can vary, resulting in different types of granite.
  • Coarse-Grained Texture: Has a coarse-grained texture due to its slow cooling and crystallisation deep within the Earth's crust.
  • Durability: Highly durable and resistant to weathering, making it suitable for long-lasting applications.
  • Heat Resistance: Exhibits excellent heat resistance and can withstand high temperatures without significant deformation or damage.
  • Low Porosity: Has relatively low porosity, making it less susceptible to water absorption and freeze-thaw damage.

Uses of granite in New Zealand and worldwide

  • Construction: Widely used as a construction material for building facades, walls, flooring, countertops, and monuments due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
  • Dimension Stone: Is cut and polished into slabs or blocks for architectural purposes, including countertops, tiles, and decorative elements.
  • Landscaping: Used in landscaping projects for pathways, steps, retaining walls, and decorative features, adding natural beauty and durability to outdoor spaces.
  • Monuments and Memorials: Granite's durability, variety of colours, and ability to retain inscriptions make it a popular choice for monuments, gravestones, and memorials.
  • Sculpture: Used by artists and sculptors to create sculptures and artistic installations due to its hardness and ability to hold intricate details.
  • Industrial Applications: Used as an aggregate in concrete, for road construction, and as a raw material for manufacturing.
  • Geological Studies: Studied by geologists to understand igneous processes, the formation of plutons, and the history of Earth's crust.