Buyers Guide

Our Approach

The best monument designs combine words and images to celebrate a life well lived — a spouse or children, personal passions, and life-long commitments. We are a design-focused shop and are passionate about creating unique monuments, headstones, and markers that express elements of life in a tasteful and aesthetically-pleasing manner, with materials and designs that will stand the test of time.

Whether the preference is for classical and stately granite and bronze monuments, or the use of more modern designs, we help every family come up with a personalized work worthy of the person memorialized.

Size and Shape

When purchasing a granite headstone with a combination of lettering and images to be etched onto the surface, or a bronze plaque with a vase on an exotic granite base, two important choices are made: materials (granite, bronze or a combination, all of which come in a variety of colors) and dimensions (i.e. size) that the piece should be. Cemeteries often have rules regarding size and materials which should be checked and confirmed (particularly regarding allowable sizes) prior to finalizing the order.

Granite Types and Colors

Granite is the most commonly used material and is available in a wide variety of traditional gray (light and dark), black, red, pink, browns, greens, and near whites. Granite is used either alone or as a base for a bronze plaque.

The below samples are the most popular and common types of granites available. Additional granite types and colors are available — call for prices and details.

Artwork

The finest monuments, headstones, tombstones and markers combine images with text to make a complete expression of the person and life being memorialized. Our designers incorporate floral designs, religious symbols, tasteful geometric patterns and other meaningful graphic images into a balanced and completed memorial.

There are two primary ways to carve images — flat carving and "shape carving". As the names suggests, flat carving places images on the flat surface of the granite. Highly intricate detail and custom artwork is possible with flat carving.

Frosted flower petals
hummingbird image
Praying hands

Shape carving is more 3-dimensional, adding depth to images like flower petals, leaves and branches.

Marble

Marble has been used for centuries and is well known for its classical look. White is the most popular color used in monuments and typically has various degrees of gray "veining".

Bronze

Bronze is often used for flat markers, retractable vases and statuary, and as ornamentation in combination with granite and marble monuments, headstone and markers.

Bronze plaques are usually mounted on a granite base, but can also be placed directly on the ground with a concrete foundation - cemeteries often have rules governing what types of bronze configurations can be used. Bronze markers are usually for a single plot or double (or "companion"), and are available both with our without a bronze vase.

Lettering Styles

The look of the lettering on a finished monument is an important part of conveying the memorial's message, and care should be taken to select a font and lettering style that compliments the overall design and effectively conveys the memorial's meaning.

Limestone, Slate and Other Popular Stone Types

We work with a wide variety of materials, including limestone, slate, concrete, boulder/rock and other stone types to create unique monuments and headstones, signs and plaques.

Large limestone central plaque
Large slate plaque

Coping

Coping refers to the stone (usually granite or marble) walls that enclose or border many cemetery lots. Coping usually (but not always) matches the stone used in the monuments and markers on the lot. A solid, level concrete foundation is installed first, and the coping is then placed on top of this foundation, ensuring that the coping pieces remain tightly against each other without any settling or unevenness over time.