The word granite comes from the Latin granum, a grain, in reference to the coarse-grained structure of such a crystalline rock. Granite is an igneous rock that is composed of four minerals. These minerals are quartz, feldspar, mica, and usually hornblende. Granite forms as magma cools far under the earth’s surface. Because it hardens deep underground it cools very slowly. This allows crystals of the four minerals to grow large enough to be easily seen by the naked eye. Granite is an excellent material because it can withstand thousands of pounds of pressure. It is also an ideal material for headstones and monuments because it weathers slowly. Engravings in the granite can be read for hundreds of years, making the rock more valuable. Granite headstones are also popular because the granite can be obtained in a wide variety of colors and crystalline textures to suit individual tastes.
The process of making a granite headstone can be broken down into three main steps. The first step is quarrying the granite. A granite quarry is a pit or some open excavation from which granite is obtained. To obtain granite from a quarry either a digging, cutting, blasting, or wire-sawing process is used and this process is referred to as “quarrying”.
Once the granite is quarried and cut to the specified dimensions, it is ready to be polished. Dalbeattie, Scotland has the distinction of being the first place in the world where granite was commercially polished. The first polished memorial was completed in 1841. The Great Exhibition of 1851 had a piece of polished and incised granite on display, starting a fashion that lead to a boom in granite polishing. Today, a granite headstone can be supplied in four finishes:
Rustic- natural rough-edged with polished or sanded face
Sanded- smooth, matte finish
Part-Polished- gloss polished face of headstone and top of base; remainder of memorial sanded
All-polished- all visible surfaces gloss polished.
The most common finish is the all-polished finish. Next, a stencil of the desired lettering is created either by hand or by computer stencil-cutting machines. It is then adhered to the granite headstone for the desired placement.
The final step in creating a granite headstone is the carving process. The carving of the granite headstone is achieved by sandblasting. Sandblasting can occur naturally, usually as a result of the particle blown by the wind causing eolian erosion, or artificially, using compressed air in a controlled environment.” In creating granite headstones from Memorials.com, the solid particle used is sand. Historically, gold leaf was used on granite lettering. Today, lettering on granite headstones is generally painted black on lighter stones and white on darker stones.
Why purchase a Granite Headstone from Memorials.com?
Granite is the most durable, and the most popular stone used in the manufacture of memorials. (The ancient Egyptians knew of the durability, thus constructing the Red Pyramid [c.26th century B.C.], Menkaure’s Pyramid, The Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Black Pyramid partially of granite.)
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