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Headstone Features

A Guide To Your Headstone Choices

Whether your choice is slate rock, marble, granite, bronze, or environmentally friendly, each headstone has a number of appealing headstone features. There are however less appealing features as well that you may want to be aware of. Due to its abundance in Early New England, slate was the most common rocks to be used for headstones. Slate has made a bit of a comeback in certain circles today, out of a sense of traditionalism. Also, one of its most appealing headstone features is that it is not hard to engrave into. Unfortunately the other side of this coin is among the least appealing headstone features. Due to its softness and perfect cleavage, slate does not survive well against the elements, and often has a tendency to flake and crack. Early Victorians recognized this, and began the move to marble at the beginning of the 19th century.

There are many different features of headstones that can help truly personalize a tributeOne of the headstone features of marble is that it is a harder, more durable rock material. Also, there is a certain solemnity attached with marble. Like the great marble monuments of Greece and Rome, there is something about a marble headstone that gives passersby a bit of pause. Some who opt for this method will also shape the top of the headstone into a cross, in order to honor their loved one’s faith and it fits in perfectly. There is however less appealing headstone features to this rock as well that you will also want to be aware of. First of all, for all of its perceived strength, and despite the fact that marble is a stronger rock than slate, it is not that much more durable. Marble also is deeply vulnerable to the elements, and requires special care. Otherwise, you can easily have a marble headstone covered with mold, and the lettering can potentially become eroded, possibly to the point of illegibility.

One of the most important headstone features of granite, which became popular in the 1940s, is that it holds up well against the elements. Granite is very difficult to break. It also provides a colorful alternative to the black of slate and the white of marble, in that it can come in a variety of different hues, such as pink, grey, beige, and even a golden color. Additionally, depending on the type of granite and memorial one is interested in, a granite only marker can also be very affordable. Granite can be personalized in a great variety of ways. It can be eloquently carved into sculptures, or left simple with a brilliant, natural polish that can give the stone an almost glass-like finish. The surface of the stone can be carved with three-dimensional designs (known as shape carving), or with flat designs (flat carving). With enough room, the stone can hold a highly-detailed scene, or the simple name and date information of the dearly departed. There are many carving styles in between that give the design a different appearance. Granite is extremely versatile and can be formed into anything from a simple flat marker to a stately cemetery bench. Granite headstones are generally the least expensive, followed by bronze.

A headstone can offer a number of ways to create a highly personalized remembranceBronze has almost limitless potential for artistic headstone features. Because of this, corporations, churches, the United States Military, and many other organizations have all used bronze heavily. After being fashioned by artisans, who shape the metal at molten hot temperatures, bronze can be made to resemble almost anything. For some who purchase bronze headstones, simplicity is still the goal. They, for example, might have the name of the deceased, along with the date of birth and date of death. Others may opt for a built in urn. Still others, who decide on a more decorative look will choose everything from a heart shaped headstone, to one with “wood grain” lining, highlighting the resemblance bronze can have to a tree, to even flowers and butterflies. For those who have lost a child, bronze especially can highlight their imagination that you may wish to honor. Perhaps they had a favorite teddy bear. It is probably far easier to engrave an image of it onto a bronze headstone than any other. Maybe you want to remind both you and them that Jesus still loves them, and will still take care of them in eternity. Bronze is your answer. For all of its good qualities though, certain forms of bronze may not be as durable as other rocks, so you may want to ask about that when you talk to your headstone dealer.

Because bronze plaques can be quite thin, compared the granite only markers, they are usually set on a concrete or granite base. Many companion memorials can feature a single bronze plaque with both person's information, or can even feature two separate bronze plaques mounted on a large granite base. Some families have the granite make a little larger to add a special verse or decoration to the granite as well. While it is true that bronze and granite on their own, offer a great number of options, bronze on granite can offer strength, durability, and a vast number of ways to personalize a memorial.

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