What is a Bronze Memorial?

A bronze memorial is a physical remembrance permanently installed within a cemetery at a gravesite, crypt, or niche. When marking an in-ground burial site, a bronze memorial may cover just a portion of the gravesite or may be sized to encompass the entire burial site. Bronze memorials may be installed on foundations of granite or concrete. A crypt or niche may be marked with either a bronze memorial plaque or bronze lettering.

A bronze memorial serves to identify the individual at rest and reflect the individual’s beliefs, relationships and personality. The inscription cast into the bronze memorial may include both formal biographical information and a personalized epitaph. The biographical information includes the name, date of birth, date of death, whereas the epitaph may include colloquial text or a literary note, inscribed or cast on a grave marker or memorial. Modern bronze casting techniques allow for a realistic pictorial representation of the individual integrally cast in bronze.

Why is Bronze used for Memorials?

Bronze is the most common metal for casting memorials and monuments and has been used since ancient Greece. Bronze memorials may also be etched, but this process in newer and has not be tested by time. Bronze is an alloy mix of Copper, Tin, Lead and Zinc. This allow is used for memorials and monuments because of it does not rust or corrode. Instead bronze superficially oxidizes creating a patina which protects the metal from any deterioration. The patina oxidation process may begin after the protective clear-coat disappears any time after 10 years following the placement of the memorial.

Types of Bronze Memorials

The types of bronze memorials and bronze monuments offered by cemeteries will depend on many factors including, the type and location of the burial, along with an individual’s or family’s religious and personal beliefs. The most common types of bronze memorial types include:

  • Individual Bronze Memorials: An individual bronze memorial will memorialize a single person.
  • Companion Bronze Memorials: A companion bronze memorial will memorialize two people, typically spouses.
  • Family Bronze Memorials: A family bronze memorial includes the surname only in order to identify a family area and does not include any specific individuals’ information.
  • Bronze Ledgers: A bronze ledger will cover the entire surface area of a grave about 3’x8’ in size.
  • Bronze Corner Markers: Bronze Corner Markers designate the sides of a grave space.
  • Bronze Crypt Plate / Bronze Niche Plate: A bronze plaque affixed to the outside of a mausoleum crypt or cremation niche.

Cost of Bronze Memorials

Depending on the type, size and features included in a bronze memorial, the cost may vary significantly. Special features such as photographs, non-English characters, custom emblems, or vase units may increase the memorial cost. As an allow, bronze may consist of varying percentages of copper, tin, lead and zinc. The quality of the bronze allow will affect the price of the memorial, as will the durability of the protective seal coat finishing. Many bronze foundries have been in operation for decades and will have accurate estimates for weathering patterns and general durability. During the planning process, an individual may want to consider and evaluate the cost of the memorial, installation, and perpetual care.

Ancillary Information about Bronze Memorials

Bronze memorials are subject to scratching and marking if not properly cared for. A cemetery must be especially careful in grounds maintenance not to mar bronze memorials when mowing, trimming and preparing new burial sites. If a bronze memorial becomes unsightly, it can be refinished or replaced.