Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of memorials?

To avoid confusion, you should know that "memorials" is the general term for all various types of stones and plaques used to mark a gravesite. There are four styles of memorials. A grass marker is flush with the ground and is usually 20" to 48". Bevel markers are similar to grass markers but the top is slanted from back to front and it protrudes slightly above the ground. Slant markers are larger in height than a bevel marker and have an angled face. They may be set on a granite base or directly on a concrete foundation. Upright monuments have two parts- the upright top part is called a tablet or die and the bottom piece is the base.

Is the lettering or designs on the memorial an extra charge?

At American Monument & Granite we do not charge extra for any lettering or designs on your memorial. Slants and upright monument lettering is extra only on the backside. The engraving on the front side of the marker, panels and frosted designs, standard lettering or flat carved designs and more than one person's name on a memorial are also at no additional charge. Hand-carved (also called shaped carvings) flowers and designs as well as photo etchings done by hand or using a laser are an extra charge.

Can I put a photo of my loved one on the memorial?

Yes. Most cemeteries allow a photograph to be etched directly on the memorial. Some cemeteries allow a black granite insert or a colored ceramic photo insert on a memorial. Many families like to put a special photo such as a wedding or anniversary photo on their memorial. It is best to consult American Monument & Granite regarding the policies of your particular cemetery for policies on photographs on your memorial.

Is all granite suitable for markers?


July, 2001 Volume 58, No. 7

Granite as a monumental stone

The U.S. Bureau of Mines does not classify all granites suitable for monumental stone. According to the Bureau's standards for class 1 granites, they must:

  • Meet exacting requirements, such as uniform texture and color
  • Freedom from flaws
  • Suitable for polishing and carving
  • Resistance to weathering.
In a test completed on all recognized monumental grade granites by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, they stated the following. Many trade names are applied to memorial stones and prospective users may raise questions as to whether these names, varieties, or types are superior to others. The Bureau of Mines has no data indicating that any of them are more enduring. In fact, all of the monumental granites produced by reputable firms in the well known regions last so long with little visible change that the factor of endurance should scarcely be given consideration in making a choice. Selection may therefore be made on the basis of color, texture, design, and workmanship that suit individual taste.