Gravestones can be made from a variety of materials such as marble, limestone, sandstone, soapstone, fieldstone, bronze, granite, cast iron, stainless steel, etc.
Of these, granite and bronze are the most preferred because they are durable.
Moreover, you can find bronze headstones set on granite base for support. Most cemeteries and memorial gardens, nowadays, only allow bronze and granite grave markers for a uniform look.
In addition, both these materials are attractive, sturdy, and can withstand harsh weather conditions. Granite, in particular, can endure weathering for ages.
Furthermore, there is no need to clean them too often. In fact, as bronze markers are typically flat, it is easier to maintain the cemetery grounds with these monuments.
Plus, both granite and bronze are easy to carve on. Hence, they can feature complex and intricate fonts and designs.
Comparing Bronze and Granite Headstones
Bronze grave markers tend to have removable plates or scrolls attached to the plaques for displaying the name, and dates of birth and death of the deceased.
This feature is particularly useful when opting for a companion gravestone as it is easy to add the details of the death of the surviving spouse in the future and there is no need to remove the entire headstone.
On the downside, there usually develops a green film, called patina, on bronze markers over time, thereby altering its appearance slightly.
Another disadvantage of having a flat bronze marker is that is it difficult to locate in a large cemetery, especially when you are going to decorate the stone on Memorials Day.
Nevertheless, bronze headstones look elegant and sophisticated, but limited to a few standard designs. You may purchase a matching bronze vase as well. Moreover, you can get a bronze niche marker for individuals who prefer cremation.
Subsequently, a niche marker is placed in a mausoleum or a cremation columbarium. You can read about cremation and storage options for cremated remains at www.cremationresource.org.
Granite gravestones, too, are beautiful and appealing. You can also choose the shade of granite stone you want from a number of colors like white, black, blue, grey, green, pink, red, brown, etc. Both bronze and granite tombstones can be personalized with custom artwork and photo.
Coming to cleaning and maintenance, both granite and bronze markers can be cleaned with water or a solution of non-ionic detergent and water. Avoid using household cleaners, bleach, and ammonia. The shaving cream trick, too, is not recommended.
Moreover, you can use paste wax on a bronze marker and then rub it with a shoe brush or a dry scrub brush, followed by bluffing with a flannel cloth to enhance its shine.
Find out how to clean a granite monument, here. Furthermore, at Dremel DIY Guides, you can learn about bronze headstone refinishing.
Basically, bronze is an alloy consisting of copper, tin, traces of zinc, lead, and other elements whereas, granite is a type of igneous rock comprising quartz, mica, and feldspar.
It is considered as one of the hardest materials on earth. Find out more about gravestone materials, cleaning, rubbing, etc. at The Association for Gravestone Studies website.
The starting price of a flat granite grave marker is about $250-300 and that for a bronze marker is almost $800-1000. So, bronze markers tend to be higher in price as compared to granite gravestones.
As bronze headstones are more costly, there are prone to theft. After all, the metal can be melted and sold as scrap.
Granite tombstones, on the other hand, are usually lower in price and heavy, hence there is less risk of theft in case of granite.