Memorial Pricing — What is a Good Value? Part 2

Jul 08, 2015

When buying a memorial for a family member it’s useful to understand the factors affecting price, some of which I reviewed in my last post (vendor, grade of granite, monument type and size). While the grade of material is most important, other factors affecting a memorial’s price (and its value to your family) include craftsmanship, design elements, and customization options.

A memorial headstone, marker, or monument is a permanent record of life, and families want the monuments they create to look as good—and last as long—as possible. So, careful consideration of what goes into a beautiful, durable, long-lasting monument, and knowing your options before you settle for something that doesn’t do the trick, is worth a bit of your time.

Design Elements / Customization Options

Memorials and monuments can be very basic and understated, with just a few, and even without, art or design elements. Many families prefer monuments in this simple style believing they convey a classic respect and dignity. While such simplicity is popular, so is lovingly considered artistic detail reflecting memories of life. Fortunately, the range of design options for memorials is as big as your imagination—subject to your cemetery’s limitations and rules, almost any artistic design can be carved into granite or crafted into bronze.

Monuments and memorials can be crafted in many colors, sizes, and shapes. Design experts cater to families interested in creating memorials with highly personalized, unique artistic details. Customized markers often depict important aspects of the life celebrated.

Ornamental Lettering — words on your monument can feature any inscription you desire—including long or short epitaphs, quotes, and scriptural verses—and can be stylized using your choice of different fonts and carving techniques.

Ornamental Carving and Etching — Hundreds of images and themes—including religious symbols, flowers, birds, sports iconography, frames, etc.—are available. These, and any drawing or image you provide, can be carved or etched into your memorial by hand, with laser tools, or with sand-blasters. These various methods each offer a distinct appearance.

Higher priced monuments usually include complex artwork, portraits, longer epitaphs or quotes, laser etching, hand etching, porcelain portraits, unique colors, artistic carving, detailed imagery, and custom designs—and more granite or bronze. Part of a monument or memorial’s custom design is its thickness and overall dimensions. Some are very modest in size, others are larger or double-width companion markers.

Quality of Craftsmanship — Your granite memorial, headstone or marker is made of the best material (assuming you’ve chosen such material carefully), and fashioned with care by world-class craftsmen, designers, and technicians—and customized to include information you provide in accord with specifications you select. Expert craftsmen then provide varying levels of carving and etching techniques and processes to create your artistic vision, or sculpt the template art you select, in granite or bronze. Some carving processes require more time and effort than others, but can add depth and dimensionally enhance the art in impressive ways.

Granite carving processes can be simple or complex, one dimensional or multi-dimensional. Using today’s most sophisticated carving and etching techniques, modern machines (including lasers), and ancient hand-carving processes skilled craftsmen can do amazing visual work in stone or bronze.

All of these variations in art, design, craftsmanship, and processes will affect the price of your monument or memorial.

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