Gravestones were originally available in the form of stone slabs used for covering the graves. But, the term is now used interchangeably with terms like headstones (markers used to denote graves) and tombstones.
These monuments, inscribed with the name, date of birth, date of death, and a few words about the deceased, even a prayer, help memorialize a loved one in a simple yet profound manner.
Plus, being a focus of mourning and remembrance, they assist in the process of healing. Needless to say, the studying the inscription on a grave marker is a great way to trace your family history.
But, before looking for a memorial monument for a loved one, you should gather some basic information about the types of gravestones so that you can make an informed decision.
Headstones or gravestones can be of the following types
Flush, Flat, or Lawn-Level Marker
These small and economic grave markers are set flush to the ground. The simple ones can cost about $250-$350. They may also be raised a couple of inches off the ground; hence, they are known as raised-top flat markers.
These gravestones are mostly available in granite and bronze. When opting for granite, you may select from a variety of colors.
Besides, flat headstones may feature textures, finishes, symbols, shapes, designs, and images as well. You can find these headstones at GraniteGraveMarkers.com, Monuments.com, Memorials.com, and various other stores.
As the name suggests, an upright headstone is tall structure that has a ‘tablet’ or vertical stone at the top and a ‘base’ at the bottom.
Vertical upright gravestones, thus, have two pieces. These traditional monuments are most common in the cemeteries and usually weigh at least 450 lbs.
A typical slant marker, also known as a slanted gravestone, slanting memorial marker, cemetery slant, mini headstone, etc., has a wide base that angles up (generally at 45 degrees) to a tapered top.
So, it tends to have a slanting front or a sloping back mounted on a granite or cement foundation. It is mostly used to mark the location of an individual in a family plot. A slant grave marker resembles an upright headstone, though thicker and shorter than it.
A bevel or pillow marker is similar to a slant marker, but it has a comparatively less steep angle. The back edge of such a marker is raised two to four inches higher than its front edge. Thus, it also looks like a flat marker. However, a bevel marker is installed many inches above the ground.
It is a thick slab of stone covering the entire grave. A ledger marker may be used with other memorial monuments, too. It is mostly made of granite, marble, or sandstone. You can find out more about these different types of markers here.
Standard, Domed, Shoulder, and Gothic Tablet Stones
Standard simple tablet stones are rectangular in shape and can be set directly in the ground, on a base or into a base. Domed tablet stones have a somewhat round, or dome-shaped top.
Similarly, a shouldered tablet (tripartite) has a more intricate angled top. Furthermore, gothic table stones are ornamented curves and angles inspired by the gothic arches found in Old Church architecture. They can be set directly into the ground or on a foundation. You may see various images of Gohic-type tombstones on this page.
Obelisks are tall, column-like monuments that originated in Egypt. They are mounted on four-sided square pedestals. Furthermore, an obelisk is pointed at the top, and tends to be decorated with a statue, pyramid, or some other structure.
Apart from these, you may have a look at other styles such as an open-book marker, scroll-faced marker, etc. Moreover, most gravestones can be designed for couples as well.
They are referred to as companion headstones or grave markers as they accommodate two names and carvings of the design.