Granite, which makes up 70–80% of Earth’s crust, is an igneous rock formed of interlocking crystals of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals in lesser quantities.
Large masses of granite are a major ingredient of mountain ranges. Granite is a plutonic rock, meaning that it forms deep underground. Slow cooling gives atoms time to migrate to the surfaces of growing crystals, resulting in a coarse or mottled crystalline structure easily visible to the naked eye.
The name granite is derived from the Latin word granum, which means grain, an obvious reference to the granular texture of granite.
Granite is used in the construction of buildings, both as building blocks and as veneers on frame structures. Because it can be smoothed to a very high polish, granite has found extensive use in memorials, headstones, monuments, carved decorations on buildings, statues and the like.