Distinction Can't Be Taken for Granite

Distinction Can't Be Taken for Granite

Typical curling stones, 2023
Typical curling stones sold by Kay's Scotland, made of granite from Ailsa Graig. (www.kaysscotland.com, 2023).

In 1968 an inquiry from Canada through the Rhode Island Development Council indicated that the game of Curling in Canada was having difficulty in obtaining good curling stones. Apparently the very best curling stones had come from Rhode Island, but the quarries had ceased to operate. From the descriptions supplied in the inquiry it seemed almost certain that Westerly Granite was what they wanted, and it was true that most of the Westerly quarries had closed. Rhode Island's apparent distinction as the Curling Stone Capitol [sic] of the World had not been known to most Rhode Islanders.

—from Rhode Island Geology for the Non Geologist by Alonzo W. Quinn, (Providence, Rhode Island: Rhode Island Department of Natural Resources, 1973).

Note: So what has the curling world been doing for stones since the 1960s? Another island, Ailsa Craig, off the coast of Scotland, also lays claim to having the best granite for curling stones. According to Mike Thompson, the secretary general for the World Curling Federation in Perth, Scotland, sixty to seventy percent of curling stones in use in the world today came from Ailsa Craig.

Originally posted April 6, 2006.

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