Reading: Uses of Igneous Rocks

A stylized statue made of black stone.

Figure 1. This diorite statue was made in approximately 2090 BC.

Igneous rocks have a wide variety of uses. One important use is as stone for buildings and statues. Diorite was used extensively by ancient civilizations for vases and other decorative artwork and is still used for art today (Figure 1).

Granite (figure 2) is used both in building construction and for statues. It is also a popular choice for kitchen countertops. Peridotite is sometimes mined for peridot, a type of olivine that is used in jewelry.

Pumice is commonly used as an abrasive. Pumice is used to smooth skin or scrape up grime around the house. When pumice is placed into giant washing machines with newly manufactured jeans and tumbled, the result is “stone-washed” jeans. Ground up pumice stone is sometimes added to toothpaste to act as an abrasive material to scrub teeth.

An abstract statue made of granite

Figure 2. Granite is an igneous rock used commonly in statues and building materials.