(Hello to Dany, one of the bloggers trying out for a spot on the Re-Nest editorial team. Comments are welcome!)
Instead of shipping very heavy stone, or using faux stone, we chose to use stone from our own property for our fireplace. It's also used on the outside chimney. It's not easy gathering stones, but we only needed to get it to one spot outside the house and the masons did the rest.
Vermont, and New England, happens to be quite rocky. So, as excavators and our own work around the property unconvered stones (careful NEVER to disturb the old stone walls), we stockpiled them for future use.
We will have a beautiful fireplace without adding the cost, both monetary and environmentally (fuel, shipping, quarrying, etc.) of purchasing stone.