Marble and Granite Quarried in America! Who Knew?
Few people realize that the United States is a leading producer of granite and marble, yet, in 2016 more than 580,000 tons of granite and over 55,000 tons of marble were produced in quarries across the country. For example, the Danby Marble Quarry located in Vermont has been producing amazing marble for over 100 years, and it has been used to build some of the country’s most iconic monuments, such as the Jefferson Memorial and the Supreme Court.
Mountain White Danby Countertops
Texas, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Georgia are the top producers of granite in the U.S., accounting for approximately 64 percent of the countries production. In 2016, natural stone was being produced at 276 quarries, in 34 states.
The largest open face granite quarry in the world is located in Mount Airy, North Carolina, also known as “The Granite City.” Established in 1743, the North Carolina Granite Corporation has been harvesting stone at the site for more than 150 years.
In Aspen, Colorado a marble quarry was discovered in the Colorado Rockies at 9,300 feet above sea level in 1875. It was this marble, Calacatta Lincoln, that was used to build the Lincoln Memorial.
The United States, the worlds top consumer of dimension stone (natural stone that has been selected and finished to specific shapes or sizes), including granite and marble, was ranked as 18th in the world for granite and marble production, while the top producing countries include China, India, and Turkey. Even so, the U.S. imports almost 90 percent of all the granite and marble used in residential construction. The leading factor for this is price, however, it’s also important to note that the country doesn’t have the infrastructure in place to even meet the high level of demand.
Additionally, most of the granite produced quarried in America has a plain gray color that’s commonly used structures or as paving materials. U.S. cities are filled with buildings constructed with American granite, but because of the granite plain color and lack of variation, they’re not commonly used for countertops. Similarly, most of the marble quarried in the U.S. is also used for walls, floors, and other non-countertop applications, although there are more varieties of countertop marble than granite in the U.S.
It’s still possible to support your local businesses, however, since smaller local companies complete most granite and marble countertop fabrication and installation. There are a number of good options for granite and marble countertops produced in the United States, including:
Virginia Mist Granite with its dusty black background and gray swirls is a well-known option. It’s sold in both honed and polished finishes and it’s quarried in Virginia as well as Canada.
Dakota Mahogany Granite, quarried in Milbank, South Dakota, is composite granite featuring a black background speckled with mahogany, burgundy, and gray.
The most well known group of American marble is The Danby marbles (Imperial Danby Marble, Mountain White Danby, and Montclair Danby Marble, etc.) quarried in Vermont are the most popular American marbles.
It’s widely believed that price is the driving force in the granite and marble import market, however, another factor may be the simple fact that the average consumer simply isn’t aware of the products being quarried, conceivably, right around the corner. Another factor supporting the use of local granite and marble products is the environmental impacts of transporting the naturally heavy stone slabs from halfway around the globe.