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Egyptian statues
MFA# 12.1488


A dense, hard, coarse-grain, mottled Igneous rock. Granite is composed of silica (Quartz) and silicates (chiefly Orthoclase and Albite feldspars). It may also contain small amounts of Mica, Hornblende, or Augite. Granite is widely distributed over the world and is found to a great extent within most mountain ranges. The multicolored stone usually contains white and gray grains mixed with speckles of black, red, pink, yellow or green. Granite is difficult to carve, but is very strong, durable, and polishes to a high gloss. It is an important indoor (countertops, flooring, tables, decoration) and outdoor building stone (monuments, curbing, statuary). Granite is also used for paper mill rollers.

Statue of Tjutju
MFa# 1979.38
Granite relief
NFA# 51.719

Synonyms and Related Terms

granit, granite (Fr.); granito (Esp., Port.); Granit (Deut.); graniet (Ned.)


Powder contains silica. Inhalation may cause silicosis.

Physical and Chemical Properties

Mohs Hardness > 5.5
Density 2.63-2.75

Additional Images

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Thomas C. Jester (ed.), Twentieth-Century Building Materials, McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington DC, 1995
  • Anne Grimmer, Glossary of Building Stone Terms, A Glossary of Historic Masonry Deterioration Problems and Preservation Treatments, National Park Service, Washington DC, 1984
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • C.W.Chesterman, K.E.Lowe, Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Rocks and Minerals, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1979
  • Michael McCann, Artist Beware, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York City, 1979
  • George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, Robert Weast (ed.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, v. 61, 1980 Comment: density=2.64-2.76

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