Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stone Update Today – March 28, 2013

ImageKosovo marble heads to market; DIY quartz countertop from hell?; Granite Gurus on laundry rooms; ISFA invite to Coverings. MORE


Stone Update Today – March 18, 2013

200_updateCosentino 2013 plans, including May debut of Dekton®; Stone Federation of Britian update; Artisan Group adds a new member; first NTCA awards at Coverings. MORE

The Week: March 11-18

Cosentino plans bigger 2013 in North America; Premier Surfaces takes on Tennessee; importers shortlisted for Inc. 5000 honors.

From Stone Update:

125_250_Cosentino_100_1COSENTINO PLANS 2013: Some new operations and makeovers of Cosentino Centers are slated for this year, but the big push may be for the new Dekton® surface and its May 20 debut. MORE


125_250_PremierSurfaces_1TAKING ON TENNESSEE: Georgia-based Premier Surfaces expands its holdings to a fourth Southern cities by acquiring Stone Services in Chattanooga. MORE


125_800_601059-b_1QUARTZ IN MILAN: Caesarstone teams up with a Tokyo design studio to bring its surfaces into the fashion world next month at the Fuori Salone 2013. MORE


125_200_AHI_1NEW AT ARTISAN GROUP: AHI Stoneworks in Hot Springs, Ark., becomes the 36th member of the North American premium-countertop fabricators group. MORE


Around the Web:

MAKING THE LIST: Austin, Tex.-based Pacific Shore Stones Inc. begins its ninth year as a stone importer … and gets a nomination for the 2013 Inc. Magazine 5000. MORE

INTRIGUE IN INDIA (yet more): Government squads raid the houses of granite-export executives. MORE

Upcoming Events:

3/21: Grass Roots Regional (ISFA) – Tampa, Fla.

3/21: Texas Stone Summit (MIA) – Houston

3/22: Digital Stoneworking Expo (Park Industries) – Poway, Calif.

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Still Here

Testing a new setup for the blog program. This is only a test.


U.S. Stone Imports, November 2011

Granite imports steady to November 2010 levels, while marble, travertine and slate show gains.

StatWatch is a snapshot of U.S. dimensional-stone imports, offering a summary and exclusive Stone Update analysis of data from the U.S. International Trade Commission. Comparisons are made mainly on an annual level to gauge market trends. Analysis is made on import figures of the latest month available.

All figures give are for November 2011 (change from November 2010 amounts in parentheses). “Worked” stone is material that’s shorn from boulders and blocks, and then cut in standard dimensional measures (such as slabs and tiles) and polished (at least once, one side). “Value” represents the declared customs value of stone.
$88.2 million (8.3%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ $38.3 million (2.3%)

Backfill: Customs values continue to look good for granite, although much of the growth from November ’10 comes from China ($19.0 million, up 18.7%) and India ($12.6 million, up 23.9%). One big surprise: Italy, with its premium-priced granites, slips 2.3% to $11.4 million.

Total: 109,257 metric tons (-0.4%)
Sector leader: Brazil @ 55,717 metric tons (-4.2%)

Backfill: It’s a nominal overall loss, with China (24,030 metric tons, up (8.1%) and India (15.147 metric tons, up 17.7%) shoring up Brazil’s dip. Italy, meanwhile, drops 31.3% from November ’10 with 6,911 metric tons; the country hasn’t broken the 10K monthly mark yet in 2011.

$20.0 million (26.2%)
Sector leader: Italy @ $9.7 million (15.4%)

Backfill: While the top four shippers to U.S. ports-of-entry – Italy, China, Spain and Turkey – show double-digit value growth from November ’10, Spain continues its resurgence with $2.4 million, up 65.8%. Turkey and China both show 10% gains from the previous November.

Total: 16,591 metric tons (28.0%)
Sector leader: Italy @ 5,334 metric tons (20.7%)

Backfill: Yet another good month of growth from most of the big exporters; China’s 4,530 metric tons is a 33.1% boost from November ’10, while Spain continues to amaze with a 51.6% gain at 2,473 metric tons. Only Turkey takes a tumble, down 7.1% to 1,726 metric tons.

$22.1 million (16.4%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ $15.3 million (26.4%)

Backfill: Turkey continues to outstrip 2010 totals, but the drag here is China; the $540,123 in November ’11 is 27% less than the previous year. Mexico offers a 9.1% gain at $3.9 million, while Italy’s $1.2 million is within a few thousand dollars of November ’10 totals.

Total: 44,844 metric tons (38.9%)
Sector leader: Turkey @ 31,808 metric tons (41.2%)

Backfill: November ’11 becomes a boom time for the top three exporters to the United States; besides Turkey, Mexico scores a 57.1% increase from the previous year at 7,241 metric tons, while Peru’s 2,878 metric tons tops November ’10 by 244.3%. China, meanwhile, drops 50.5% to 1,468 metric tons, and Italy falls 11.3% to 720 metric tons.

Total: $8.0 million (9.1%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.4 million (73.4%)

Backfill: Yet more volatility plagues this category; France increases 41.4% from November ’10 with $931,947 and Portugal moves up 16.1% with $831,795. Italy, meanwhile, drops 24.3% to $1.2 million, and Spain plummets 31.5% with $516,122. Mexico’s $536,167 shows a 5.9% decline.

Total: 10,230 metric tons (-4.0%)
Sector leader: United Kingdom @ 1,591 metric tons (2,691.2%)

Backfill: The obvious joker in the deck for November ’11 is the United Kingdom; from January-October last year, the country shipped only 35 metric tons. The British stone makes up from losses from some major exporters, including France (1,366 metric tons, down 34.7%) and Portugal (840 metric tons, down 20.4%). China, meanwhile, improves 60.2% with 1,530 metric tons.

Total: $5.0 million (2.2%)
Sector leader: China @ $1.8 million (-11.0%)

Backfill: Sector leader China and second-place India ($1.2 million, down 37.9%) post losses from November ’10, along with the United Kingdom ($160,072, down 42.2%). Canada may offer an anomaly (up (2,097.3%) with its $934,994, but it’s a welcome one; Brazil also takes a great leap up at $512,084, up 84.8%.

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We’re moving — come on along!

After three years, it’s time to say goodbye to this blog. However, don’t fret — it’s just moving to a new place, and taking all the furnit …uh, posts along with it.

I’ve been tardy in getting this finally done, but I’m running my own show at It’s a completely new website, independent from my former work at Stone Business and Architectural Stone & Landscape Design magazines.

You’ll still get the same up-to-the-minute coverage you’ve received for years. (That includes the new Marmomacc/StonExpo deal, signed today in Italy.) There isn’t much in gee-whiz supergraphics or online games like Fingerbit Fanatic; it’s a simple design to give you the information you want and need.

And, you’ll still see this blog — something,that, with the Facebook and Twitter sites for Stone Business, I’ve done on my own time all along, BTW — but with a new name. WordPress assures me that you’ll see it soon at

The U.S. Postal Service has the Internet beat in one way; when you change your snail-mail address, you fill out one card. Online, it’s a host of functions (along with the usual people offering concierge services in exchange for a fee and all your user name/passwords).

So, here’s a quick moving guide:



Twitter: @stoneupdate (If you subscribed through @stonebizmag, you’re already getting the new timeline.)

Facebook: Link is here. (This one is really traumatic, going from more than 1,900 Likes to 0, because Facebook won’t allow you to change the name of a fan page. Please do me a large favor and click the “Like” button on this page.)

New place, independent ownership, same great service. Come on along!

Know Your D.C. Stone (clip and save)

Just in case there’s another earthquake or similar event in Our Nation’s Capital, here’s a handy reference for writers/TV reporters/bloggers/Tweeters to at least get the general idea about Washington’s varied use of stone, so we don’t hear about an unsteady marble facade somewhere that’s really limestone. Or sandstone. Or something that’s just not marble.

The final word on these comes, for the most part, from the notes of James V. “Jim” O’Connor (1944-1999), a geology instructor and de-facto geologist of the District of Columbia. He also, perhaps, offered the simplest definition of our industry: “Stone is rock that you pay money for.”

Here’s what’s covering the famous facades of Washington – and, in a few instances, the details on some interior stone.

White House: Aquia Creek sandstone (Virginia), painted white.

U.S. Supreme Court: Vermont marble facade, Italian marble columns. (Interior marble from Alabama.)

U.S. Capitol: Aquia Creek sandstone (Virginia), Lee marble (Massachusetts), White Cherokee marble (Georgia). (There’s also a real mash-up of various stones used for different parts of the interior and some exterior columns.)

Lincoln Memorial: Yule marble (Colorado). (Statue is Cherokee marble from Georgia; interior is mix of Tennessee marble, Indiana limestone, Massachusetts granite.)

Washington Monument: Marble  from Lee (Massachusetts) and combination Cockeysville/Texas quarries (Maryland).  (Bluestone gneiss used in structure.)

Thomas Jefferson Memorial: Imperial Danby marble (Vermont). (Georgia marble interior walls, Tennessee marble floor, Indiana limestone dome liner, Minnesota granite statuary plinth.)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial: Carnelian granite (South Dakota), Academy Black granite (California).

Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Black granite/gabbro (Bangalore, India)

Washington National Cathedral: Limestone (Indiana)

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: Marble (Carrara, Italy; 3,700 tons came as a gift from the Italian government.)

Russell Senate Office Building: Marble and limestone facing; granite base.

Dirksen Senate Office Building: Marble

Hart Senate Office Building: Marble

Cannon House Office Building: Marble and limestone facing; granite base.

Longworth House Office Building: Marble facing and columns, granite base.

Rayburn House Office Building: White Cherokee (Georgia) and Vermont marble facade, pink granite base (New Hampshire, North Carolina, Texas).

Pentagon: Limestone (Indiana)

Executive Office Building: Granite (Massachusetts, Maine, Virginia)

Federal Reserve Building: Marble facade (Georgia); granite base (Massachusetts).

Compiled, for the most part, from “The Jim O’Connor Memorial Field Trip.” (

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