Different Headstone Options Available in the Market

Buying a headstone is not an easy task as there is a wide variety of options available in the market. It is important to know about the headstone options as you will be buying one in memory of a departed soul. A headstone which is generally placed at the top of a burial site is much more than simply a piece of stone. Here on the headstone get valuable information regarding the birth and death of the deceased along with some epitaph like bible verses or a religious text are inscribed.

Here are some popular headstone options:

Flat headstones:

Flat headstone

The most common headstone option is the ground level headstone known as a ‘flat marker’. Such headstones are thinner in size as compared to other types of headstone and lie flat along the ground. A flat headstone can be set into a base or stand by itself. On a flat headstone, there is space for a very simple inscription such as name, years of birth and death and an epitaph of three to four words. In the market you can find simple flat markers as well as fairly elaborate flat markers. Such headstones are usually made from granite or metal slabs.

Upright headstones:

Upright headstone

These headstones, also known as block headstones are usually in the shape of a thick rectangular block with rounded tops. Upright headstones are usually made of marble or granite and their size is normally two feet high and two feet across. These headstones can come in a wide variety of shapes and designs. Upright headstones are popular since the Ancient Greece and Roman time period.

Tablet headstones:

Tablet headstones

These are the oldest types of headstones that one can still find in cemeteries. Here flat or rectangular stones with rounded, triangular or domed tops are set into a slot in a stone or concrete base. Due to the wide base, these headstones do not tip over and fall. A wide variety of materials are used for this type of headstones, ranging from wood to stone. 

Obelisk headstones:

Obelisk headstones

These headstones are usually the most ornate ones. These headstones have tasteful designs divided into three distinct sections: the base, the shaft and the capital. The design usually points upward toward the sky and the top part has a decoration such as a statue, pyramid or ball. Due to the same size, these headstones can be installed in relatively small spaces. Earlier these headstones were used to mark the graves of influential people.  Obelisk headstones are available in three different types – Standard, Truncated or blunt and Vaulted.

Column headstones:

Column headstones

Similar to an obelisk, these headstones resembles a pillar. Divided into three parts, these headstones are designed with a base, a shaft, and a capital, or top. On the top, a ball or urn is usually there. These headstones usually feature Roman, Greek or Egyptian design. Column monuments are often used to designate family burial sites. These headstones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the types of column headstones are Gateway, Broken, Classical Greek, Standard, Pilaster and Stele. 

Pedestal headstones:

Pedestal headstones

These headstones are larger in shape and are designed with four faces where inscriptions can be done. The sides are flat vertical in shape with a flat capital or pediment. On the four faces there are designs enriched with inscriptions, motifs and ornamental styling.  Some of these headstones are also designed with an urn. These headstones are made of granite or marble.

Cross Headstones

Cross Headstones

The cross headstones come in different forms and the symbolic meanings and history associated with each type is different. The four most common types of cross headstones are Latin cross, Calvary cross, Celtic cross and Rustic cross. Cross headstones are usually made of granite or marble.

Along with the above mentioned headstone options, there are also many more in the market. Other options are eclectic headstones, angel headstones, ceramic photo headstones, bronze headstones, granite headstones, companion headstones, ledger headstones, scrolls, pulpit headstones, carved headstones and molded concrete headstones.

So, next time when you have to purchase a headstone for a loved one or family member, think about the different options available in the market and then choose one. Before making the final decision, always bear in mind the rules and guidelines set by the cemetery where you wish to install the headstone.


Article written by

Please comment with your real name using good manners.

Leave a Reply