Cemetery Headstones - Topmost Remarkable Way For Beloved Ones

2:21 AM
Cemetery Headstones are not just pieces of stone that create a way to remember the loved ones after they have left us, but cemetery headstones are also important to create a shed to the whole burial area, often acting as an ornamental addition to the burial slabs. Headstones made of marble, limestone, granite and even of wood, have been prevalent among different ethnic groups and classes of the world, and they convey the universal message of remembrance for the deceased.

Historical facts about tombstones:

Historically these started off as pieces of wood or fieldstones that were used over the body and the purpose of these were to prevent animals from uncovering the grave and eating the remains of the deceased person.

  • The earliest headstones made were of slate as this stone was easily available. Then marble started to be in use. It was sturdy and was available in many colors.
  • Granite which is more resilient also later became the preferred material for headstones.
  • There are different ways in which cemetery headstones are personalized. There are scripture verses written or quotes which are written or sometimes even humorous phrases or statements are written. In order to decorate the grave, statuettes are also carved or these are placed on the top or next to the stone.

Techniques to etch customized designs on the headstones:

Based on the budget and how ornate these need to be made, the size and shape of the headstone varies. Apart from the name, date of birth and some personal mournful message for the deceased, the cemetery headstones can also contain intricate carvings and personalized floral designs on limestone, or on marble.

  • Now there are new techniques which are used to etch designs. There is laser etching which is done and this even allows for pictures and intricate designs to be etched onto the headstone. 
  • For those who cannot afford granite, cheaper options are sandstone, limestone, concrete, wood as well as metal. Sometimes, the headstone is made of marble which is put onto a concrete grave.
  • The reason why limestone and sandstone is not preferred is that these stones are susceptible to the effects of the weather. They either break away or else large chunks or flakes come off. The inscriptions often become illegible due to weathering or erosions.
  • There is delamination which occurs in these stones as well. Delamination happens when moisture gets between the layers and then the moisture freezes and in freezing it expands. This causes layers of the stone to get weakened and flake off ultimately. However, these are easy to carve.
  • Marble looks elegant and can be carved well. In fact, marble is a type of limestone which is re-crystallized. However, marble is very porous and with even mild acid in the rainwater it gets dissolved and therefore the inscriptions after sometimes gets illegible.
  • Slate has good texture but it is not preferred as it is porous and that is why it delaminates. The lettering is often done in white paint.

White bronze which is made of sand cast zinc is one thirds the cost of marble but is almost as durable in fact even more. This was used in America in the early twentieth century.

As you ponder, you will find that there has been a great transition in the usage of materials that have been used to manufacture cemetery headstones. Often they have also been manufactured with wood, but wood gets decomposed and eaten up by insects very soon, and it also has pores, which leads to major forms of water retention, making the wood to swell and break off. So it is not a very favorable material for using as headstone. Whatever be your personal choice, it is important to choose your budget and then you can ask for the best for the cemetery headstones. It’s the finest way to remember your nearest passed ones. 

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