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If you are looking for a unique and beautiful cemetery gravestone you have come to the right place. We have a large selection of gravestones to choose from, and all of our gravestones come with a Lifetime Warranty and Free Shipping.


What is a Gravestone

Originally, a gravestone was the stone lid of a stone coffin, or the coffin itself, and a gravestone was the stone slab that was laid over a grave. Today a gravestone is usually a large upright piece of sculpted stone containing the inscription of the persons name, date of birth and death. Now the term gravestone is also used for markers and monuments placed at the head of the grave.

History of the Gravestone

The earliest gravestones were made from natural fieldstone, some were unmarked and others decorated or incised using a metal awl. Sandstone is durable yet soft enough to carve easily. Some sandstone markers are so well preserved that individual chisel marks can be discerned in the carving, while others have delaminated and crumbled into dust. In the 1600s sandstone replaced fieldstone in Colonial America. Graves in the 1700s contained footstones to demarcate the foot end of the grave. Footstones were rarely carved with more than the deceased's initials and year of death, and many cemeteries and churchyards have removed them to make cutting the grass easier. Note however that in many UK cemeteries the principal, and indeed only, marker is placed at the foot of the grave.

Graves and any related memorials are a focus for mourning and remembrance. The names of relatives are often added to a gravestone over the years, so that one marker may chronicle the passing of an entire family spread over decades. Since gravestones and a plot in a cemetery or churchyard cost money, they are also a symbol of wealth or prominence in a community. Some gravestones were even commissioned and erected to their own memory by people who were still living, as a testament to their wealth and status. In a Christian context, the very wealthy often erected elaborate memorials within churches rather than having simply external gravestones.

Gravestones may be simple upright slabs with semicircular, rounded, gabled, pointed-arched, pedimental, square or other shaped tops. During the 18th century, they were often decorated with memento mori (symbolic reminders of death) such as skulls or winged skulls, winged cherub heads, heavenly crowns, urns or the picks and shovels of the grave digger. Somewhat unusual were more elaborate allegorical figures, such as Old Father Time, or emblems of trade or status, or even some event from the life of the deceased (particularly how they died). Later in the same century, large tomb chests or smaller coped chests were commonly used by the gentry as a means of commemorating a number of members of the same family. In the 19th century, gravestone styles became very diverse, ranging from plain to highly decorated. They might be replaced by more elaborately carved markers, such as crosses or angels. Simple curb surrounds, sometimes filled with glass chips, were popular during the mid-20th century.

Gravestone Construction Today

The Construction of a gravestones has not changed significantly over the years. In years past, a permanent gravestone was usually constructed from fieldstone, sandstone, marble, granite or bronze. Today a gravestone is primarily constructed from granite or bronze, and occasionally marble (marble is less popular because of the cost). Large monument gravestones are used today to mark a family of graves, and individual graves are memorialized with a smaller gravestone marker. Gravestone markers are constructed from granite or a combination of granite and bronze. These gravestone markers typically preserve the memory of one person, or a husband and wife, and they work in concert with the larger upright gravestone monument. The use of large gravestone and gravestone markers together create a beautiful memorial for an entire family.

Preplanning a Gravestone

A gravestone is often designed and purchased well in advance of a persons death. This allows the person to choose the style of their own gravestone, or to design a custom gravestone, and too alleviate stress on the family at the time of their death. This is an expression of love to your family, a gift to the living.

Clear Stream Monuments can assist you with preplanning your gravestone. We have a full line of gravestones to commemorate yourself or a loved one. We have a large selection of gravestone and grave markers to choose from, or we can assist you with creating a custom gravestone.

All of our gravestone come with a warranty that gives you the assurance of quality craftsmanship that will last for many years to come. If you need assistance in creating a gravestone, please feel free to call us at 888-578-1119 or email us at service@clearstreammonuments.com. Call us today with any gravestone questions.

Give a Gravestone Gift Certificate

A good way to show your consideration and love is by the giving of a Gift Certificate for the purchase of a gravestone. You may purchase a Gift Certificate from Clear Stream Monuments by clicking on the "Gift Certificate" link at the top of the page. There is no better way so express your love to a grieving family member than by sending a gift certificate for a beautiful gravestone.

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