When a loved one passes away, one of the ways you get to honor them is by placing a stone over their grave. A gravestone can be customized to reflect your loved one's interests and personality, giving you something to remember them by for years to come. One of the first decisions you will need to make, when choosing a gravestone, is what material you want for the stone. Here are five common choices and their benefits.
Granite is a very traditional, beautiful stone and one that has long been used to make grave markers. It is abundant in the earth, so it is pretty easy to come by, though it can come at a high price because it takes time to finish and shape. A custom granite headstone can be carved ornately, making it a good choice if you want a long sentence or scripture inscribed in the stone. It is a good choice in areas that get a lot of acid rain since it does not corrode or develop buildup.
Marble is another stone that is abundant in nature and can make for a very attractive stone. However, it is a little softer than granite, so over the years, any writing or carvings in the marble will become worn and less distinct. Marble also requires frequent cleaning since its light color makes it susceptible to algae stains and streaks.
If you are on a tight budget, you may wish to have a concrete stone made. The concrete can be pressed into a form that give it any shape you desire. This process is faster and easier than that of shaping granite or marble. The downside to concrete is that it wears away easily in harsh weather and will require frequent cleaning and sealing to keep it in good shape.
If you live in an area with a mild climate, limestone may be a good choice for your gravestone. It is easy to carve and less expensive than granite or marble. However, it can crack in areas where winter brings freezing temperatures.
If you do not like the look of stone in general, you could opt instead for an iron grave marker. These have a very traditional appearance as they were used throughout the Victorian era. Iron is very durable, although there will be some surface rust to clean away from time to time.