Glossary of Terms & Shapes

  1. Base: The bottom part of a monument which adds stability and elevates the inscribed part of the monument above plantings and also protects it from damage by cemetery maintenance equipment.
  2. Bevel Marker: A marker that is slightly taller in the back than the front, giving it a slightly slanted lettering face, and has a natural rocky appearance on the sides. A bevel differs from a “slant” in that a “slant” refers to a sharply slanting face.
  3. Bronze Marker: Flat style rectangular markers that are usually installed flush with the ground on a concrete pre-cast or a granite or concrete surround.
  4. Crypt: An enclosure for a casket in a mausoleum.
  5. Epitaph: An inscription placed on a monument to commemorate the deeds or qualities of the departed. It usually consists of a line or two, but can be longer; such as a poem, description or explanation.  An epitaph is not necessary, but should be carefully considered.
  6. Flat Marker: Markers that are almost always rectangular and flush with the ground so that cemetery mowers can ride freely over them without damaging them.  They are traditionally made from granite but are also available in bronze or a combination of bronze with a granite surround. They are most common in the “flush or flat” sections of the cemeteries.
  7. Granite: A very hard igneous rock mined from deep in the earth – it is actually the second hardest natural substance known next to diamonds.  Granite comes in many different colors and grains, and is excellent for showcasing engravings and/or etchings.
  8. Individual & Companion: Refers to the number of persons the memorial is for. An “individual” memorial would be for one person. The “companion” would be for two people, a husband and wife for instance.  Upright monuments, slants, bevels, bronzes, and flats all come with an individual or companion option.
  9. Etching: Artwork (and occasionally lettering)  that is produced on the surface of granite. They are typically done on sheer black granite because it provides the best canvas for showcasing the etching.  Etchings can be very detailed and are often used to reproduce portraits or complex scenes from photos.
  10. Marker: A less costly form of memorial which lays flat (or slightly sloping) in the ground.  Markers are often set in cement to provide better visibility and a barrier against grass encroachment.
  11. Mausoleum: A solidly constructed building -almost always of granite- containing any number of crypts for permanent above-ground entombment.  (Usually located in larger, urban cemeteries). Early church history tells us the first mausoleum was built in 353 BC for King Mausolus of Caria, from whose name the word “mausoleum” was derived.
  12. Memorial: Technically, a structure that reminds us of a specific event or person(s). Therefore, a monument serves as a memorial, but in daily use, monuments are called memorials.
  13. Monument: A structure erected as a memorial – from the Latin word meaning to remind.
  14. Sandblasting: Sandblasting involves the use of compressed air to force sand or some other abrasive at the granite at a high rate of speed.  This process allows us to engrave letters and designs in our granite memorials. It is the most common process used to carve and letter memorials.
  15. Serpentine: Any surface or molding cut to resemble the S-like motion of a serpent.
  16. Slant Marker: Slants are memorials that are wedge shaped.  They have a slanted face and are crafted from granite. They normally stand about 16 inches tall and give you a slanted front and straight backside that you can letter. Slants can be set directly on the cemetery footer at ground level or atop a base.  The face of a slant is traditionally polished (smooth, mirror-like finish) and the sides and front nose are usually rock pitch (natural rocky appearance).  
  17. Traditional Upright Monument: Uprights are the memorials that are most common. They are traditionally crafted from granite and usually have a face that is perpendicular to the ground and are generally set atop a base unit that raises it off the ground.  Traditional uprights are typically square in shape and have a serpentine, oval, or straight top.  They can be all polished (smooth mirror-like finish showcasing the granite color), all steeled (smooth textured finish), and they can also have rock pitch sides and top (natural rocky appearance).  
  18. Vase: A decorative container, typically made of glass or china and used as an ornament or for displaying cut flowers.

Basic Shapes and Diagrams