Granite is everywhere that you look these days. Homes have granite in the bathroom, kitchen, floors, and even outside on patios. It comes in so many different colors and sizes and patterns it is hard to imagine that it is all created the same way. The earth is a beautiful beast that controls all and making stone is another daily occurrence that we are unaware of. Even though the process takes many years for it to be completed and ready for mining, it has been doing it since the earth has been created so there are an abundant amount of granite that has yet to be mined.
First we will start out with what granite is made of. Granite is light colored igneous rock that is mainly composed of quartz and feldspar. There are also minor amounts of other materials such as mica, amiphiboles and many more that make up the grain and coloring of each stone. Granite is typically a medium to large coarse-grained stone. The quartz and feldspar that are in it are stronger than steel which makes it desirable for building and ornamental purposes. I know that you are thinking that there is no way that granite is stronger than steel. You are right to an extent. If you go to a microscopic scale, that is when it will be harder.
As for the formation of granite, it is a really cool process that takes many years for it to be formed. It all starts under the earths crust where the crystals of granite, that are in a magma form, start to cool relatively slow. When they start cooling, they will start attaching to other crystals due to the pressure the earth is forcing. The slower that the stone starts to cool, the stronger the stone will be. Once it gets cooled into an actual stone, then it needs to get as far away from the core of the earth as possible. But the only way to do that is finding areas to breach the crust of the earth. The best areas to do that are in between the continental plates such as the San Andreas Fault. The granite will rise from the earth by the stretching apart, or extension, of a continent during plate tectonics. It will then get in a position that will make it accessible to mine.
Granite is an amazing stone that has so many uses in everyday life that I think that we may take it for granted. With all the variations of colors and designs that are created from the earth I propose taking a minute and thanking the planet for its under-appreciated efforts to make our homes beautiful. Go planet Earth!