What material should you choose for a personalized gravestone?

Published on January 30, 2017

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A gravestone is the ultimate memorial to a deceased loved one and therefore must be selected with great care. It is a testimony of affection for that person, and it can come in any shape and be made from a wide variety of materials. But when the time comes to select a personalized gravestone, which is the right material for you?

Granite. A Solid Choice

Granite is durable and erosion and weather-resistant. It has replaced coloured marble for several decades because it stands the test of time and perpetuates a lasting memory of the deceased. Marble may be easier to find, but is also more fragile. Granite has a strong reputation in Quebec for being robust. In a climate like ours, it retains its shine over time.

Granite is a traditional material used to preserve memories because it doesn’t deteriorate over time. It is available in a wide range of colours, such as pink, red, white, grey, black, green, blue, and in many more shades. It can be found all over the world, provides the widest choice, and goes well with all styles of monuments. There are very rare kinds such as Lilla Gerais (this was spelled incorrectly in the original French), Rosa Bella (this was spelled incorrectly in the original French), Rosewood, Bethel White and even Jacaranda.

A personalized message, a quote from the deceased or even an image can be laser-engraved. The precision and finesse of today’s granite engraving techniques are impressive. Nothing is easier to maintain than polished granite; it cleans easily with a sponge and water.

Marble and More Contemporary Materials

Marble is still used to make some gravestones, although it has been increasingly more replaced by granite, which has the advantage of being more durable. Today, mostly white Carrara marble is used, as it is more resistant than average marble. Over the last 15 years, we have seen the emergence of grave markers made of clear glass, Plexiglas, resin, or stainless steel, for a more modern look. These materials provide an alternative to traditional monuments while retaining a very solemn appearance, and are particularly appropriate for young people who have passed on too early. However, time, the sun, changes in temperature and bad weather will eventually wear these materials.

We are seeing increasingly more use of composite materials like Dibond, which is stainless, rot-proof and resists corrosion, shock and UV rays. These new materials have promising durability.

Personalizing a gravestone isn’t easy and it may be useful for the family to get assistance from their funeral planner. Once the decorative object and the material is chosen, you still have to choose the message, designs and even a photo to place on the monument to display your affection and recognition of the deceased.

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