Is Granite Magnetic?  (Answer Is Complicated)

Granite is not usually magnetic, although in certain circumstances it can appear weakly magnetic.

This article will continue to explain the science behind why granite is not usually magnetic.

Is Granite Magnetic? (EXPLAINED)

Granite Facts

Since the beginning of civilization, granite has captured the imagination of artists in monuments and sculptures, communities in gravestones, and builders in flooring.

Granite also contributes to the composition of the earth’s crust, which is a pretty impressive job for a humble type of rock.

In terms of appearance, granite is usually shiny and metallic, feeling smooth with grooves in some specimens.

While most of us think of granite as a pencil-tip gray, it can also be present in pink tones and white shades.

Although granite is gray and reflective, it is not a metal.

It may, however, contain traces of metal oxides in its composition, such as iron and titanium.

Granite is the most abundant category of rock known on planet earth.

Because it is so strong, architects love using granite for countertops and other solid surfaces.

Since granite lacks porousness and resists the effects of temperature, it works well in buildings and kitchen designs.

Granite combats the usual threats of chemical erosion, weathering, and deterioration through environmental threats.

Although “granite” refers to a specific type of rock, its chemical composition can be diverse among different specimens.

As an igneous rock, granite originates from a process where magma solidifies and then chills.

Being an intrusive rock, granite forms under the surface of the earth.

The elemental makeup of the magma that forms granite determines the kinds of minerals it creates as its temperature drops.

This causes streaks of different types of minerals to crystalize in the granite during the cooling phase.

As granite cools, it slowly pushes to the surface where geologists can observe it with the naked eye and collect it.

This superficial granite may originate from a combination of quartz, various feldspars, and biotite.

Other materials may also be found in the granite’s composition, such as iron and titanium.

What Does Magnetic Mean?

When we hear the word “magnetic,” it may bring up memories of tacking report cards on the fridge as a child.

The term describes an object’s visible attraction to a magnet.

If a specimen inches towards a magnetized object, we call it magnetic.

We don’t need any elaborate tools outside of a working pair of eyes to describe something as magnetic, but some items are more magnetic than others and will therefore rocket towards a magnet faster than their less magnetic counterparts.

Specimens that contain large amounts of metals in their chemical composition tend to be magnetic, though sometimes even a slight streak of metallic elements will generate a magnetic property in a sample.

The term “magnetic susceptibility,” used by natural scientists, refers to how much a magnetic field attracts a substance or repels it.

While a certain type of magnetism called “ferromagnetism” can be observed with the naked eye–consider a paperclip catapulting towards a magnet–some types of magnetism remain covert to the typical viewer.

One type of less noticeable magnetism is called “paramagnetism.”

This refers to metallic materials dissolving in the substance.

While these dissolved metals make the sample weakly magnetic, they make the specimen a poor magnet from a readily observable perspective.

If atoms in a substance have electrons that lack an appropriate pairing with other electrons, the electrons without pairs align with a magnetic field, which presents as a magnetic attraction.

To test the magnetism of a specimen for ourselves, we can place the gem in a mostly friction-free environment such as a small floating plate on water, and use a powerful neodymium magnet.

Most rocks, minerals, and gems won’t respond, but with this method, we can notice even weak responses that suggest magnetism.

To detect paramagnetism, we usually need to employ relatively advanced scientific procedures such as counting the number of electrons to determine if a substance has the odd number of electrons characteristic of paramagnetism.

In plain terms, a paramagnetic object will experience weak attraction to a magnetic field.

However, once the magnetic field is removed, the object will stop exhibiting attraction to magnetized objects.

Why Is The Granite Magnetic (or Not)?

Granite is not typically magnetic because it usually does not contain large amounts of metals in its chemical makeup.

Some specimens of granite have been found to be magnetic based on anecdotal evidence–these specimens have usually hailed from India and exhibited an attraction to rare earth magnets, magnetically speaking.

If a specimen of granite does contain greater amounts of metallic elements than the average piece of granite, it will show magnetic properties.

However, this does not mean that all granite or even most granite is magnetic.

Some manufactured granite products will seem magnetic because of other materials that have been added into the item.

Raw granite specimens will not normally be able to compete with these products in magnetic ability.

Why is it important to determine if a potential granite specimen is magnetic or not?

Most granite pieces can be properly identified by testing properties other than magnetism such as their appearance, their feel, and their coloring.

However, sometimes magnetite may look similar to granite.

This magnetic element magnetite is a natural mineral that exists in the earth’s crust.

Since it is also gray like granite (although usually darker, closer to a black tone), it could be mistaken by a beginning rockhound for granite.

In this case, a high degree of magnetism is caused by the presence of iron ore in large concentrations in samples of magnetite.

If a rockhound finds a piece of rock that looks relatively similar to granite but latches onto a magnetic force, it may be magnetite, not granite.

When in doubt, comparing the specimen to other granite collections and asking professionals may help an amateur rock collector determine the true nature of a specimen.

Magnetism usually rules out the possibility of granite, except in rare cases as mentioned above.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, granite is an igneous rock that is very common.

This grey, pink, or white rock originates in the earth’s crust.

Although it is not usually magnetic, certain specimens of it have shown weak magnetism, though this is rare.

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