It may not be a subject many of us consider when we are preparing for the end of life to help our families or when families are facing the unexpected. When someone passes, a grave marker, memorial, or headstone is wanted; but usually, the thought of what materials are best isn't at the top of anyone's mind.
It is understandable it's not a subject to wonder about when grieving, which is why we cover the topics we do—hopefully well before you or a loved one will need a headstone to make this process as smooth as possible. Today, we'd like to discuss the best material for a grave marker or monument so that in the future, you will have the best information at hand when you need it.
We can tell you with certainty that the best material for a memorial is unquestionably granite.
What Is Granite?
The word granite has its roots in the Latin "granum," which means grain. The Latin word describes the granular, crystalline structure visible in any piece of genuine granite. Granite is mainly composed of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase and is formed from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cool and then solidifies underground.
Granite is almost always lacking in internal structures and is extremely tough. The quartz and feldspar within granite tend to form a tight, interlocking structure that creates a uniform composition. These properties make granite not only a widespread stone used for construction but a stone for long-lasting grave markers and memorials. The tight crystalline structure also ensures that water has a challenging time penetrating the stone, making it exceptionally durable in inclement weather for a very long time. How long? Centuries and, sometimes millennia, without the granite losing structural integrity.
Color and Quality
- As granite is exceptionally tough, it's highly resistant to chipping and scratching, outperforming and surviving other rocks such as sandstone or marble.
- Granite is also incredibly strong, so it is capable of bearing quite a lot of weight.
- Granite is very dense, making it weather resistant for very long periods and allowing fine detail to remain sharp and clear.
- Granite can be polished to a breathtaking, glossy sheen, deepening its beautiful colors and bringing out gorgeous patterns within its grains.
Granite can also come in a surprisingly large variety of colors. The most typical colors are light and dark grey and deep midnight black. But other shades of granite include red, pink, blue, green, orange, and almost every hue in between.
When faced with the many color options available, we decided to choose those colors that would ensure each of our memorial headstones would best show fine details when engraved. We chose to utilize midnight black, red, pink, Bahama blue, shades of grey, and deep browns.
Why It's the Best Material For Headstones
Granite's centuries of durability, toughness, and weather resistance are why it is one of the most popular choices for headstone material. Yet, despite its toughness, it also remains sculptable. While not as soft as marble, granite has been the choice for monuments of all kinds for hundreds of years. What is carved or etched in granite will last, while marble and other stones will eventually have etchings and words fade away.
Granite can also be cut and shaped into uniquely elegant shapes for a custom monument for families who genuinely want something as one-of-a-kind as the loved one they remember.
Beauty for Decades
Expert monument builders can create and polish granite monuments that are stunning memorial art pieces. When polished, granite has an undeniable glossy smooth sheen. Polishing also brings out many details within granite, such as patches of glittering gold, flecks of blue or grey, or even greens depending on the minerals in the stone. Granite is also unique in that no two pieces are ever alike, as they are removed directly from the quarry bed and, depending on where the granite piece came from, can hold many different variations.
When it comes to individual headstones that reflect a loved one's uniqueness and stand the test of time, granite is the ideal solution. Granite is also significantly easier to maintain and keep clean so that the original beauty of your memorial lasts for many years. Granite is a worthy investment for a long-lasting tribute to those we love. Its durability, beauty, and ability to hold the details we so lovingly carve and etch into a stone make granite an excellent choice to honor those who have passed.