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October 14th 2018

by Daniël Konrad Link

 

#next #clearer #harder

 

The design and architecture industry saw good things from the developments of mineral research in Brazil. 

Today over 50% of the stones supplied in the U.S. for kitchen countertops are originally quarried in the country of Christ the Redeemer. Factories in Italy, Spain, China and India buy raw granite blocks in Brazil to supply slabs to the U.S. and worldwide markets.

The historical moment of synergy of technological development, commercial exposure in the U.S. market and quarry-hunting unfolded a much larger spectrum of Brazilian stones. 

 

Many times they were indescribable, many times in their raw state these stones looked absolutely untamed. Added the distances and physical challenges to pull blocks out of the muddy ground and transport them mountain down. 

 

It required women and men of courage to believe in the new stones and promote them among friends and customers. Many of these stones are today a trademark in the industry.

Progress in technology, the choice of the U.S. homeowner and the drive of women and men overseas to find the unseen, built this status quo of hundreds and thousands of varieties available..

The devoted quarry-hunting and mountain slicing took a robust and exotic face. 

Three years ago I was telling customers that quartzites were ahead of the curve. Today we see a rich diversity of quartzites, white and grey, and colorful ones landing in the U.S. decor industry. That is good. And there are still many more new quartzites to arrive. 

Over two decades ago companies in Brazil reached quartzites mountains, and for being much harder than most stones known up to that moment, it was economically over demanding to process and export quartzites.

With the transition from steel gang saw blades to multi diamond wire machines to slice blocks of natural stone into slabs, exponentially accelerating the process, now quartzites and a variety of unprecedented rocks are being processed to export..

In the midst of the hunt for new quartzites, rocks metamorphosed over time, now the fascination and natural challenge is to cut an even harder stone: the igneous quartz, yes, quartz, in full blocks to full slabs to the worldwide decor industry.

The physical specifications of igneous quartz, lowest potential of weathering, high reflection of the light, able to backlight, smooth glass alike polished surface sparkle the craving in the design industry, architects and wife & husband.

 

Deposits that can produce full blocks of igneous quartz turned to be an obsession for quarry-hunters, and symbol of an expensive product to quarry-owners and factories to export. 

 

In the past one year I saw a substantial increase of mineral research devoted to quartz deposits. Teams of people, quarry-hunters, travelling extensively through country-side South America to find and quarry new quartz deposits.

 

I saw a range of quartz blocks, from very pristine white, to almost transparent, to pink quartz, grey-blue quartz and smoky quartz among remarkable others. These are already arriving in the US and shaping what is available in the market.

 

Next trend: clearer, harder, natural, quartz slabs.

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