5 things you should know before you choose a monument.

Step 3.
Choosing the material of your monument.

Throughout history, many materials have been used to make monuments and memorials – from wooden sculptures and dirt mounds to gold and other precious materials to rocks and various stones.

Today, marble, granite and bronze are the most commonly used materials. While marble and granite are natural materials, mined from quarries all over the world; bronze is a manmade metal, formed from copper and zinc.

Here at Patten Monument, we typically opt to use granite for the following reasons:

  • Expansive range of colors, textures, and patterns.
  • Engraving techniques and technology allow for virtually unlimited design options.
  • Ability to vary finishes allows for unique design styles.
  • Enhanced durability.

The National Park Service has extensively researched erosion rates of national granite memorials such as Mt. Rushmore. Their findings state that granite wears at the rate of 1 inch every 10,000 years. This link will take you to their site where this information is listed. (See the portion on Erosive Forces) National Park Service

To put that into perspective, here’s an example. Say a granite marker was made at the time of Christ’s death (0 B.C.). Fast forward to today, and that very same marker will have eroded less than ¼ of an inch. For a more in-depth article on granite, click “Geology of Granite” from the Monument Builders News, July 2001 issue.

Because there is so little difference in erosion rates between all memorial grade granites, we at Patten guarantee all of our granite equally. To view our stock colors, click Stock granite colors.

We do not encourage the use of marble, due to the fact that it is a metamorphic stone and will wear much quicker than granite. If you look in your local cemetery at marble memorials over 100 years old, you will understand. We also discourage using bronze for memorials, except when required by the cemetery, because of its softness. Lawnmower damage is common and most people do not like the green patina that comes with age.

Go to Step 4: Finish

Better Business Bureau
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Michigan Funeral Directors Association
Indiana Funeral Director's Association
Monument Builders of North America