Memorial Material Types

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We at Rustic Stone fully understand the grief and devastation a loved one passing can cause to a person. We ensure our dedication and passion are put into all of our unique and a personal memorial stones, to make sure that the memory is always with you.

All of our stones that we work with and make into a personal, engraved remembrance memorial are handpicked from a quarry situated in North Wales. We only use specific types of stone for our memorials as we believe this gives our customers a high and professional standard for their personal stone.

The memorial stones we specialise in are marble, sandstone and slate. There are a number of other materials that are used that we do not sell these include: Granite, Limestone, Wood, Plastic, Metal and even Glass. Below you can find out a little bit about each memorial material type.

Granite Memorials

Granite is an extremely hard stone and is very tough and ideal for memorial uses, it was not until the late 1880’s that this type of stone became widely used for gravestones due to the lack of tools on the market, hand crafting this stone without sandblasting techniques was extremely difficult.

You will normally find granite memorials in church graveyards and in headstone form rather than plaques. Generally granite gravestones come in many colours to choose from making this one of the most popular choices of types of memorials, grey tends to be the most common but you can find many other colours.

Below is a list of colours that you will generally find available when choosing a memorial using granite stone.

  • Star galaxy
  • Black
  • Glensby
  • Cats Eye
  • Red
  • Blue Pearl
  • Dark grey
  • Paradise
  • Light Grey
  • Balmorals
  • Starlight
  • Surf Grey
  • Cashmere White
  • Silver Grey
  • Lavender Blue
  • Ornate Visage Blue
  • Emerald Green
  • Ocean Green
  • Sapphire Brown
  • Tropical Green
  • Mervyns Grey
  • Racing Green

Granite Memorial Example

Granite Memorial Headstone


  • Extremely durable
  • Easily sourced
  • Lots of colour choice


  • Generally overpriced
  • Can look plasticky and due to shiny surfaces

Limestone Memorials

Limestone used to be one of the most popular choices when choosing a memorial stone for a loved one, but there are a few negatives which make other memorials more popular. Generally limestone tends to be made naturally underwater and when exposed to the atmosphere it hardens and becomes more durable, however it is not very durable against high amounts of acid found naturally in rain.

Limestone headstones tend to be the more popular choice compared to memorial plaques, this stone type also comes in very few colours such as: Grey, Beige or Cream.

Limestone Desert Example

Limestone Desert


  • Extremely durable
  • Looks great


  • Generally overpriced
  • Naturally damages from weather
  • Can be stained

Wood Memorials

Using wood for memorial use can offer a unique alternative to memorial stones, wooden memorials come in many forms such as headstones, crosses, cremation tables and plaques. Generally a hard wood will be used and polished with teak oil or varnish to help shelter from weather and make the memorial look more appealing.

Wooden Cross Memorial Example

Wooden Cross Memorial


  • Very affordable
  • Wood headstones look great


  • Damages over time (weathering)
  • Requires constant maintenance 1-2 a yr

Plastic Memorials

Generally people will try and avoid plastic for memorial use as everyone knows that plastic tends to be a very cheap man made material, however plastic can be great for small pet memorials as they are very inexpensive and appealing to families with kids.

Plastic Artificial Rock

Plastic Rock


  • Very affordable
  • Great for very small pets


  • Colours fade with time
  • Colours fade with sunlight
  • Can look too cheap

Metal Memorials

Metal memorials tend to be popular for commemorative plaques, basically you normally find an engraved personal message on a metal plate which is then screwed or nailed into a wood plaque, sometimes you may see metal crosses with engraved messages on but these generally are very rare.

Metal Memorial Plaque Example

Metal Memorial Plaque


  • Very affordable
  • Plaques can recessed within Walls


  • Requires lots of maintenance
  • Can look like a general notice sign
  • Harder to find a good supplier

Glass Memorials

Glass memorials can look absolutely fantastic if you go for a custom design, but as with any bespoke designs you can expect to have to spend a lot more for your design plus materials. Glass is an increasing choice of memorial type due to the designs that people are able to do with them.

Glass Memorial Example

Glass Memorial


  • Non-porous
  • Non-stainable
  • Non-corrosive
  • Looks great


  • Can be extremely expensive
  • Hard to find designer & supplier

Sandstone Memorials

Sandstone (which is also known as Arenite) is a sedimentary rock which is made out of rock grains and small sand sized minerals. Some types of Sandstone are resistant to the weathering (breaking down of rocks by the Earth’s atmosphere).

Sandstone can come in any colour but the most common are black, white, red, pink, brown, grey, tan and yellow.

Sandstone is commonly mined by quarrying but can be found in where small seas have once been. It is usually formed in dry places such as the Arabian, Sahara and Australian desert, but can be found in smaller amounts of over the globe. Sandstone can be made into Quartzite through a combination of extreme heat and pressure which is related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Due to the fact this is a tough stone, it makes the perfect choice as a memorial stone.

Natural Sandstone Example

sandstone hill


  • Most types are resistant to weathering
  • Very affordable
  • Extremely resilient


  • Easy to stain

Slate Memorials

Slate is an extremely tough stone and one of the reasons for hundreds of years it has been widely used on house roof tops, slate has less than water absorption of 0.4% making this stone very though against cold weather such as frost, while other stones can become venerable in sub temperatures.

Slate tends to come in various shades of colour depending where the slate has been sourced from, welsh slate is favoured due to the fact it generally is a grey / black colour.

Slate Headstone Memorial Example

Slate Headstone Memorial


  • Very tough
  • Tough against frost
  • Lasts for thousands of years


  • Limited colours

Marble Memorials

The word marble is a greek word and means “Shinning Stone, Sparkle”. Marble can be found all over the globe and has lots of different names of marble and depending where the marble is sourced from will come in different colours. In the UK we used to use a lot of Purbeck Marble which was obtained from the Purbeck Isle though these days the quarry is inactive and most marble sourced in the UK comes from aboard. Because marble is extremely tough it is one of the most popular choices of headstones found in graveyards, but due to the weight and craftsmanship involved heavy price tags are included.

Marble Memorial Example

Marble Rock


  • Very tough
  • Plenty of colour choice


  • Can be expensive

Many thanks goes out to a few people at Flickr for providing free imaging under the creative license, links to their profiles can be found below.

Robglover, Infomatique, Hive, Globetrotter1937, Quinnanya, Bellatrix6.

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