Common terms used in the monumental industry


Abrasive– Media used to engrave modern monumental stones. May be composed of aluminum oxide, silicon carbine, steel shot, etc.

Basalt– A dark, dense volcanic rock tough to shape.

Biological Activity– Algae or Lichen growing on the stones surface.

Burial– To put in the ground, grave, or sea; to hide.

Cemetery–¬† Resting place for a person remains. Larger and more organized in structure, then the earlier graveyards and burying grounds. Often incorrectly spelled Cemetary.

Chisel– A steel tool used for shaping stone and other materials. It is often held at an angle and struck with a hammer to force the sharp cutting power along the surface being carved.

Entomb– To place remains in a grave or tomb.

Face– The surface of a inscribed gravestone or monument.

FallenРA headstone or sculpture which has collapsed onto the ground.

Granite– An Igneous rock made of mica, quartz, and feldspar. The main stone which was used in American headstones in the twentieth century. Most modern monuments and markers are composed of granite, which is now imported in a large range of colors from around the world.

Grave Marker– Something set in remembrance of the deceased; a universal name to call many styles of memorials.

Gravestone: A stone, boulder or plaque placed on a burial site to mark it, commonly inscribed with name, birth and death dates; most often describes a historic memorial. Tends to mean a solid, or a one-piece stone such as a tablet stone.

Headstone– A stone or boulder set at the head of a grave site.

Incised Carving– Decorative design or inscription cut deep into stone memorial.

Inscription– Lettering engraved or sandblasted into a gravestone or headstone.

Memorial– Stone honoring a person, May or may not be marking a grave site. Gravestones moved away from remains become memorials.

Monument– A structure, building or memorial; a headstone built of two or more pieces. Can include a wide range of varieties and styles.

Perpetual Care– Guarantee of everlasting cemetery upkeep; funds were collected and set aside and sometimes markers were placed beside memorials, or inscriptions added to stones, to denote a payment had been received.

Pillar – A gravestone consisting of a tall, slim, ornate grave marker with a spherical cross-section. Pillars have an appearance of being turned on a lathe and actually derive from the British custom of Georgian furniture.

Plinth– A stone, usually square in shape that raises a tombstone or sculpture.

Preservation– To keep safe from harm or damage; Historic preservation endeavors to preserve our histories artifacts and objects from prior ages.

Quartz– A common crystalline rock. The main part of granite.

Reset– The reinstallation of a sloping, collapsed, or broken headstone or memorial.

Restoration– To restore or make new again. More destructive then conservation, restoration implies recreating something that has been lost.

Setting Clamps– Firmly attached onto a die memorial, the stone is then lowered without danger of chipping it or the base it sits on. Commonly when there is no way to get lifting devices under the stone.

Tablet -A rectangular grave marker set upright, having inscriptions, raised lettering or carved ornamental engravings usually on vertical planes, and top surface finished in straight, round, oval, or serpentine fashion.

Tombstone– Gravestone; denotes ancient type, often within the United States

Upright stone – A headstone that is set upright. Upright headstones come in many shapes and styles.

Urn– Container for cremains of an individual who has been cremated