Thin Stone veneer was first developed in the late 19th century, but there were materials developed much earlier that foreshadowed the use of stone veneer. Parts of the Roman Coliseum were made out of marble veneer that can no longer be seen.
In fact, the holes in structure of the Coliseum are from the anchors of the veneer panels. Structures throughout the Roman Empire were made in part out of stone blocks, including the Segovia aqueduct in Spain, which was made out of granite blocks. People in the Roman Empire also developed concrete (out of cement and rubblestone), which helped builders expand structures greater than before. Stone was used as a part of the facings of these new concrete structures in the Roman Empire, as seen in the Coliseum.
Modern stone veneer first made its appearance in the late 1800s. The oldest of modern Interior Stone veneer product is now disintegrating. It was cut into thick portions and then hand tooled into the appropriate panels; the stones that were used were “granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate.” Early in its development, thin stone veneer only had the capabilities to be utilized in areas such as the inside of buildings, street-level facades and storefronts.
Methods to attach veneer to steel were developed; diamond-bladed tools became popular for developing thin stone veneer, while elastomeric sealant began to replace mortar techniques in the construction process. Thin stone veneer in the 1960s became more of a standardized look – in fact, standard education on stone veneer became available in Anatoliy Stone, As stone veneer panels got thinner in the 1960s, the properties of the stone used became more important in order to compensate (as did safety considerations). Concrete as an aid to stone veneer continued to develop, as “in order to eliminate bowing, cracking, and staining of the veneer.