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Home > info > Home > Absolute Black Granite Or Should That Be Basalt !!!

Absolute Black Granite Or Should That Be Basalt !!!

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Is that Granite or is it Basalt ???

This article is not meant to be an all singing guide to black granites. It is simply a factual article giving some assistance to you in your choice making and dispel some of the myths surrounding black granites.

Black is one of the most popular choices, why you might ask?  Its because it always looks great, polishes well and provides wonderful contrast to your units. This popularity means there is always someone willing to sell you inferior stone at a higher price. So this article may well assist you in understanding what you are looking for and how to achieve the best choice possible.

Technically not all black granites are truely granites, some are basalt.  However for commercial purposes  they are all grouped under the granite name. Granite is coarse grained and  quarried from under the earths surface. Basalt are dark in colour with fine grain, the majority of which are volcanic in origin. Formed from the rapidly cooling lava flows.

It is only our opinion, but  perhaps the most common misunderstanding is that all Absolute Black granites are the same material, they are not!  These can vary widely in colour, quality and price.

The original Absolute Black was from Sweden  named Sutareboda  and this has been quarried for many years. Sweden also produces the famous Ebony Black granite. This is very hard and durable coupled with its ability to take a very beautiful polish makes it a very nice stone. Also well known for its almost metalic "ringing" tone when hit with a hammer and chisel.  It is also very expensive.

In 1962 South Africa  began to export Belfast Black granite and shortly after that the trade providers in Italy started calling this granite Nero Assoluto meaning black absolute. There have and remain many alternative names for this granite such as South Africa Ebony, South African Black and Prairie.  Some of the South African granites can be "rice grain" in  appearance and some can contain less black qulaities and more silver reflective elements.

Since the early sixties  Nero Assoluto has become the generic name for the many blacks supplied from Italy, Angola, China, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe and many other countries. So unless one is specific  it means the granite could actually be from anywhere!

Care should always be taken when new suppliers enter the market, over recent years black granite has entered the market from China at lower prices. Whilst some is of excellent quality, caution is advised as some of these black granites can be prone to "shakes" and "vents"  in which instances some dealers apply oil or dye  to the slabs to hide these defects. The resulting effect will thus fade over time and a correctly polished granite should not fade. This can be remedied but unfortunately the only solution it to repolish the top and this can be very expensive.  There is a test you can carry out to see if the black granite has been heavily died.  You take a clean cloth, add a little acetone and gently wipe on the granite.  If the cloth brings off some of the colour then you know it has been died. 

The most dense black granite from China is known as Shanxi Black  A Grade and beleive it or not you can expect to pay as much for this granite as any top quality Indian Black, sometimes more. Some varieties of Shanxi Black have small gold coloured spots  in it. Some fabricators do not like this, therefore it can be lower in cost. But if you like gold spots you may  get a good bargain.

India also supplies some high quality black granites and has been exporting since the 1960's. By the end of the 70's it's production  volume of slabs and memorial stones were well underway. Some of the finest quality, reasonable cost and densest absolute black granites are produced in India. However, there are some of  the denser blacks, for example  Khammam/Kunnam Black , which can be "soft". Therefore care needs to taken when deciding on which to use for your project as it can scuff and scratch.

From India in general terms, granites from the Warrangal region are both dense black in colour and much harder, meaning that they take a nicer polish and wear well. Other regions include Dhamapuri and Mettur districts of Tamil Nadu. Chittoor  in Adhra Predesh, also Kanakpura near Bangalore where a variety of medium light blacks are found.

Many of the Indian Black Granites have a small rice-grain sized crystal structure which can easily be seen with the naked eye.  This is very different from the composition of Basalt. This makes the overal appearance lighter than basalt but does give it a natural uniqueness.

Indian black is known under several names such as  BG Black, Indian Dense Black, Indian Jet Black, Premium Black, Supreme Black, Indian Super Black, Nero Assoluto Indiano to name a few.

Perhaps the most recognisable granite from India is "Star Galaxy Gold"  which comes from around 40 quarries in Ongole. The granite has a densest black background and bright relective speckles. The gold specks are due to  ferrous rich Enstatine (Bronzite) bieng present . It is actively traded as a commodity and has three grades:

1. Large specked

2. Medium specked

3. Small Specked

This means the larger blocks of first chioce material are becoming scarcer and much more expensive. Like all other natural materials  variation in viening does occur and it is possible to get lines of Bronzite running through slabs.

So thats the whistle stop tour of Black Granite and dont be mislead many other countries quarry black granites including Brazil, Canada, Finland, Iran, Namibia, Spain, Ukraine and USA  and produce other granites all grouped under the "Black Granite" banner.  Here are a few we can think off Nero Impala,  Padang Dark, Sesame Black and Black Pearl which because of their colour structure are generally considered to be grey rather than black.