What Material Is Recommended for a Memorial Marker?

What Material Is Recommended for a Memorial Marker?

January 8, 2020

Headstones and cemetery markers are a common sight in Western cemeteries. Whether vertical tombstones with elaborate etching or simple in-ground bronze markers, many people look for markers that will stand the test of time. After all, it is a way to honor a loved one’s life, as we hope that they will remain in the collective memory for a long time. If you’ve ever been to a historic cemetery, you’ve seen how the ravages of time have had an effect on stone monuments: some are barely legible after centuries of being exposed to the elements. While still beautiful, they no longer give clues as to whose life they’re honoring.

Today, we make memorials and monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ with an eye toward durability. Here are some of the most common memorial marker materials used today, and which ones you should avoid.

Memorial marker materials to use

Bronze markers have been used for centuries, thanks to their versatility and little need for maintenance. Bronze is a metal alloy and is far less expensive than other marker materials. It can be cast in a number of designs, and will stand up to wind, rain, snow and other potentially damaging conditions.

Granite is another excellent choice for headstones. It’s extremely strong and durable, and can be etched or carved as simply or elaborately as you wish. This is the most popular choice for headstones today, although it is more expensive than bronze markers.

Memorial marker materials to avoid

A good rule of thumb is to avoid any “soft” material—even if that includes stone. Any material that can be easily worn away or is susceptible to breakage, rot or even rust is not going to last as long as bronze or granite. Alternatively, the general shape may still exist, but the etchings or carvings will not.

Marble is an excellent example of this. It’s a beautiful stone that was popular centuries ago, but after decades of being exposed to acidic rainwater and other elements, the carvings wear away dramatically. That’s because marble is relatively soft and can’t handle abrasives.

Wood headstones and crosses were once popular, too, thanks to its relatively inexpensive nature as well as its ability to be carved in a number of designs. However, wood—even finished, coated wood—is susceptible to mold and rot. If you’re lucky, wood markers may last up to a century, but it’s likely they’ll last far less than that.

Memorials and monuments in Phillipsburg, NJ

If you need advice about which type of memorial marker to choose, we’re happy to help. Phillipsburg Memorial Company has been making high-quality markers and monuments in Phillispburg, NJ for over 80 years. Our family owned and operated business has one goal: to help our customers find a beautiful memorial at their chosen price point. We want to help you honor your loved ones, and will work hard to make your difficult time as easy and hassle-free as possible. Give us a call today to learn more about your options.

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