Natural stone is a geographical list of stone used for decorative purposes in construction and monumental sculpture; currently or historically produced in various countries. In addition hardstone carving uses many types of gemstones. The dimension stone industry classifies stone based on appearance and hardness as either "granite", "marble" or "slate".
The granite of the dimension-stone industry along with truly granitic rock also includes gneiss, gabbro, anorthosite and even some sedimentary rocks. Uses for natural stone include architectural stone (construction, flooring, cladding, counter tops, curbing, etc.), raw block and monument stone for the funerary trade. Another popular use for natural stone is custom stone engraving. The engraved stone can be either decorative or functional. Natural memorial stones are being used as natural burial markers.