Granite is mostly mined in India, Brazil, China and some European countries and the united states. With many of the most beautiful colors coming from South America. First, blocks of granite are removed from the rock, using the same common methods for quarrying any stone. At the quarry the rock face is examined to determine what size stone can be cut without having imperfections. The larger blocks are used for granite countertops and the smaller are used for monument and smaller building materials like tile.
Granite is graded for consistency in color and pattern not strength. There is a great variation in the colors and patterns even within the different veins in a quarry causing different die lots and runs. These inconsistencies often don’t effect the structure of the stone just its esthetics. There are natural voids and fisher veins in granite that often add interest and uniqueness to the stone slabs but are less desirable in monuments. Often the most consistence color and patterns are used for monuments.
These stone blocks are then shipped all over the world to the factories where they are cut and polished to create the finished products. The intricacy and complexity of shape and carving often have a great effects on the cost of the monument. Shape carved details and sculpture requiring the greatest level of artistry and skill. Those there are still those in the united states that have these talents this is a talent that is harder and harder to find. More and more of the process is done with CNC machinery to reduce labor cost. Labor is still the greatest factor in the cost of a stone monument.