I feel that the first thing which should be addressed in this blog post is that I am not referring to granite as noble in the scientific sense. Granite is, of course, durable, but it does not approach a level of low-reactivity that would qualify it for the term. As a metaphor for its longevity, however, it is useful. The main definition of granite as noble here is to describe the dignity and solemnity that a granite memorial or granite headstones bring to a cemetery.
Although granite is now available in a variety of colours, colours which can be emphasised through careful smoothing and polishing, they still tend to have a darker tone than other stone used for memorials. The typically dark colours of granite are still prevalent in cemeteries through theUKas well, lending them the more respectful, dignified looks that colourful patchworks of gravestones lack.
The ability of granite to stay true to its original carving so much longer than, say, marble also contributes to its appeal. Where as softer stones will wear away over time, losing their detail and colour, granite will remain in its intended form much longer. It will begin to degrade eventually, of course, but not before it has seen out other gravestones created at the same time. This means that the solemn, unflinching dignity of a granite memorial goes on and on and on.
You should also recognise that even when wear and tear does take place, granite memorials remain excellent gravestones. Though the details of carvings and even names may disappear from their surface, they are indisputably recognised as the marker of a grave.
Picture courtesy of Flickr user he-ryan.