- Articles

The History of Granite in Brazil

by Marissa Sese

Posted on November 14, 2018 04:03:00 PM

The Brazilian Granite Boom

When gold was discovered in Brazil early in the 18th century, the event was met by Portugal, whose economy was seriously suffering, with great enthusiasm. The gold rush quickly followed and throughout the first half of the 18th-century people poured into the Brazilian inland region known then as the “General Mines.” This is how Brazil's stone mining industry got its start.


Giallo Napoleone Granite Countertop


Marble was discovered by Italian immigrants who had immigrated with their knowledge and experience working with the material in the 70’s, close to the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, which serves as the epicenter of the stone industry. The Brazilian granite boom followed in the 90’s, just as homeowners across the United States began selecting granite for their countertops with increasing frequency. Europe was developing the technology that made the stone cutting process incredibly faster, and just as quickly, Brazil became the world’s biggest natural stone country.


Since then 1990s, Brazil has undergone continuous growth in the production and export of natural stones in every activity across the production chain.


Today, Brazil is one of the best-known sources of granite around the globe with over 300 export processing plants and hundreds of quarries, exporting between 60 and 70 percent of all of the granite sold in the world.


Lapidus Granite


Brazilian Granite in the U.S.

The selection and quality of Brazilian granite have given it a prominent position among foreign suppliers to the American market. Among the popular Brazilian granite countertops are Giallo Napoleone and Lapidus, which are both found in Espirito Santo, the location of a number of exotic granite quarries. The same geological activity that created the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain that looms above the city of Rio de Janeiro also produced large granite blocks across the country.


The country’s abundance of granite colors and patterns matches well with the tastes of American homeowners. Granites such as Ubatuba, Lapidus, and Giallo Napoleone have become staples for many stone fabricators. Additionally, the varieties of exotic granites from Brazil are also abundant and appeal to homeowners that are searching for that one-of-a-kind look.


The Giallo Veneziano Quarry is located near the small town of Nova Venezia and the stone extracted there has a distinct layered appearance with a coarse grain in colors that range from a light yellow to a dark golden-brown. The deposit takes the form of a solid granite outcrop, 300-feet-high, and when it was first introduced into the U.S. market in the 1970s, it represented the first gold granite ever seen.


The Lapidus Quarry near the city of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim is located along the Itapemirim River in an area known for having unique geological features. Notable for its veins of crystallized minerals and iron oxide that are created over millions of years by water seeping into the stone, Lapidus granite is golden colored, with flowing gray veins and splashes of dark brown.


Uba Tuba Granite Countertops


Today, Brazil produces approximately 5.3 million tons of granite annually, with granite making up nearly half of all the natural stone produced. The bulk of that is exported to the United States, China, and Italy. As a result of its production growth, Brazil has reinvested into the industry and is quickly establishing its reputation for innovative and high-tech methods and equipment.


Granite has long been a popular building material in Brazil; however, the way it’s used in Brazilian homes is very different than the way granite is used in America. In the United States granite is typically reserved for kitchen counters and bathroom vanity tops, while in Brazil, granite is commonly used for backsplashes, showers, flooring, and outdoor spaces.