5 Different Types of Grave Markers

Monday, August 9, 2021

Stop in any town, and you'll find grave markers. The earliest burial ground in the United States dates back to 11,500 years ago

Throughout history, people have created a variety of markers to commemorate deceased loved ones. This can make it hard to decide which one is best for your loved one. 

What are the main types of grave markers? What materials are they made out of? How can you customize them to commemorate your loved one's life? 

Answer these questions and you can find a beautiful grave marker in little time. Here is your quick guide. 

1. Flat Markers 

Flat markers are the simplest forms of burial monuments. They are rectangular plaques that lie on the ground. Most of them are only a few inches long, containing the name and lifespan of the person they commemorate. 

But markers are customizable. You can choose to add natural scenes, emblems, and flowers to it. You can pick a beautiful phrase to engrave as an epitaph. 

Most markers are made of granite and bronze. These materials last for years, though they may need some cleaning due to inclement weather. 

2. Headstones 

Headstones are upright funeral markers. They are also called "tombstones" and "gravestones." They stand at the head of a plot above where a person is buried. 

Headstones are larger than markers. They can contain the name and personal details of the deceased, along with an epitaph. They can commemorate several people who lie in a plot or just one. 

3. Sculpture Markers 

Sculpture markers are small sculptures. Many of them accompany tombstones, but you can select a sculpture to stand on its own. 

Examples include angels, crosses, and natural scenes. Angel monuments have different meanings depending on how the angel is portrayed.

An angel looking upwards signifies devotion to God. Cherubs traditionally indicate the burial sites of children, but adults can have them as well. 

If you have the resources, you can commission a sculpture of the person who passed away. You can also commission a bench so visitors can sit. 

4. Military Markers

Families of veterans can request a military marker for their loved one. The Department of Veterans Affairs can provide one for free. 

Most markers go with headstones and upright sculptures. They contain the veteran's name and facts about their military career. 

5. Etched Portraits

Etched portraits can go on flat markers or headstones. The marker will contain a polished finish that allows the portrait to withstand inclement weather. 

Markers with etched portraits tend to be expensive. You can reduce costs by providing a specific photograph you want the artist to etch. You can embellish the portrait with symbols and decorations. 

The Five Main Kinds of Grave Markers

Grave markers are wonderful ways to commemorate a loved one. Flat markers are simple monuments with a person's name. You can customize one to include other details or decorations. 

A headstone is upright and contains more information. A sculpture marker is a sculpture, generally a religious one. 

If your loved one was a military veteran, you can ask the government for a military marker. If you want maximum customization, you can commission an etched portrait. 

Find someone who will accommodate your needs during this time.  We hear at Schumacher and Benner Funeral Home serve the Pottstown area so be sure to request a consultation today. 

At Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home and Crematory, we want to take care of you and your family in any way possible. Our services include traditional funeral services, celebration of life services, cremations, selection of memorial and headstones, and more.  

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