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Selecting A Monument


We’d Like to Help Take Some of the Confusion and Uncertainty Out of Buying a Memorial

To the great majority of people, purchasing a memorial is a first-time experience - often a confusing and stressful one - and your decisions will last forever. In this website you will find basic information you can use to eliminate much of the confusion and stress from the process. You will learn about the basic choices you will have to make so you can give them some thought before visiting a dealer.  You’ll see what features affect the price. You’ll find out what questions to ask so you know what your complete costs will be and how they compare to the prices you may get from other dealers.

Terminology

To avoid confusion, you should know that “memorials” is the general term for all the various types of stones and plaques used to mark a grave site.  As you will see inside, “markers” and “monuments’ are specific types of memorials.

Your Choices

In the process of selecting a memorial, you will have six basic choices to make: style, size, material, color, finish and design.  Each will affect the final price. We have created a downloadable guide to assist families in selecting a monument click below to download:

Click here to Download a Brochure about how to select your monument!

Click on the graphic on the left to download the file.

STYLES

Grass Marker

These are generally 20” to 48” wide the top is usually set flush with the ground.

Bevel Marker

Similar to a grass marker but the top is slanted from the back to front and the marker normally protrudes slightly above the ground.

Slant Marker

These are larger with an angled face. They may be set on a base or directly  on a concrete foundation.

Upright Marker

Most upright monuments have two parts---the upright top part, called the “die,” and the base.

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SIZE

Size considerations are: the size of the cemetery lot; the amount of inscriptions and design elements you want; the size of surrounding memorials; and, price. Naturally, the larger the memorial, the more it will cost.

MATERIAL

Most memorials are made from granite or marble. Granite is the most commonly used and most durable stone used in memorials. Quality granite and other stone can be purchased from major quarries around the world. Bronze plaques, such as veterans’ markers, can be set in cement or attached to stone markers.

COLOR

The rule of thumb is, darker colors, such as dark red or black, are higher in price. Medium gray granite is most  commonly used.

FINISH

There are three surface finishes you may choose for the stone --- rocked, steeled or polished --- or any of these in combination.

  • A rocked finish is a natural, roughhewn finish used only on the edges or backs of memorials.
  • A steeled finish is a matte, or satin, finish on a smooth stone.
  • A polished finish is a smooth, mirror like surface.

A Rocked Edge

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DESIGN

This includes lettering, borders and even illustrations.

First, of course, are the inscriptions where lettering styles are a consideration.  Some dealers charge by the letter.  Others include inscriptions for a flat fee. 

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Scenic carvings are  images which are carved into the stone by sandblasting.  This is most effective with simple shapes.

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By far the most striking method of personalizing your memorial is by etching the image into the stone with a diamond-tipped tool. The images are more delicate and realistic.  Black granite is recommended for etchings.

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