Choosing a Monument
Cost is an important first consideration for most of us in any purchase. Never spend more than you feel you should. A big financial responsibility may be tolerable if a large, complex monument is absolutely what is desired, but normally, being comfortable with the amount to be spent helps to make the purchase more appreciable. Remember always that the significance of a memorial is not a matter of size.
For a permanent memorial, granite is without question the best choice of material. It is hard, heavy, durable and elegant. Although naturally occurring granite stones or boulders can be used, most monuments are crafted from specially quarried granite of known ["monument grade"] quality; free of faults, voids, deleterious minerals.
In choosing a monument, it is important to be aware of any cemetery regulations and possible future interments (or cremations) that might affect monument design. Listed below are the basic design considerations:
style; basic kind of monument; flat marker, slope marker, bevel marker, regular upright monument, custom monument (teddy-bear, lighthouse, log, irregular shape, etc.)
size; appropriate length and width for the amount and type of engraving desired, also must meet plot and cemetery size regulations, if any. The standard width ("thickness") is 6 to 10 inches; length and height are usually a matter of preference (but may be limited by plot size or cemetery regulations).
colour; colour does not demonstratively affect durability of monumental grade granite, but darker colours tend to provide more contrast for lettering, with the dark, finer grained granites being best for detailed etchings.
shape; square, curved sides or top, round, heart, double heart, traditional, custom; almost any shape imaginable...
detailing; special shape features such as sawn margins, bevels, slopes, trims, textures, etc.
finish; smooth or polished front/back. natural rock, smooth or polished sides. Finish should be according to personal taste or preference; it has no affect on the quality or durability of the granite.
layout; arrangement of lettering and engraved ornamentation on the granite (Lons includes this work at no extra charge)
artwork; highly detailed design work such as photo-reproductions or original drawings attached to or etched directly on the polished granite
lettering; size and style, and whether "raised" polished or cut into a polished surface... also if any required on back (such as family name).
accessories; ceramic photo discs, cast bronze accents, vases, flower holders, candle enclosures, lamps, etc.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to be overly concerned about all these items. Most decisions are made almost intuitively during the course of designing a monument We list them all individually here simply to serve as a reference to additional information.
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