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Delphos Granite Works

P.O. Box 336
201 E. First St.
Delphos, OH 45833

P: 419.695.5500
F: 419.695.0317


Answers: To the most Commonly Asked Questions About Granite Memorials

Decisions and the Grieving Process

The selection of a memorial as a tribute to a loved one is an important decision. Before reading the information on our website, please know that it is our wish that you not feel pressure to make immediate decisions about a memorial. This guide is meant only to inform you about granite memorials, so when you are ready, you may feel confident in your choice. As monument builders for over one hundred years, we respect your feelings during this time, and provide you with the helpful guide to educate you about what is, for most people, an unfamiliar purchase.


C. Michael BirkmeierPresident

1. Is it Granite? Or is it Marble?

It is granite. The majority of memorials placed in cemeteries in the Northern U.S. are made out of granite. Over time, granite is proven to be far more durable than marble. Visit a cemetery and locate an older section that contains marble monuments. You will find that the family names and dates on marble monuments are barely legible. The reason? Since marble is a softer rock, erosion over time slowly eats away at its surface.Granite, on the other hand, is classified as igneous rock, one of the hardest rock forms in existence. It has been proven highly durable and not likely to erode. Find a granite monument in your local cemetery and you will not that the lettering is still clear and legible even years after it was originally placed in the cemetery.

5. What kind of designs are available?

A monument design is very personal; therefore no single design can be appropriate for every memorial. Some people prefer a very simple design with the family names and dates and an added carving or perhaps a cross, or rose. Since monuments are a tribute to one’s life, personalized memorials have become increasingly popular. The sky really is the limit. Anything that can be drawn can be reproduced on a monument. A full service retailer should have an art department and artistic consultant to help you choose a fitting design. They should provide you with sketches of your ideas showing you how the finished monument will look. They should be willing to alter those drawings to your liking. However, it is not their role to pressure you into one of their designs. Rather, a good monument retailer will listen to your wants and needs and help you plan a suitable monument accordingly.

2. What is Granite?

Granite is a plutonic or deep seated rock which contains minerals of quartz, feldspar, and mica. It is the presence of these three elements that give granite its beauty and warm, rich colors. The rock itself is wholly crystallized and features unique granular patterns. The quartz contributes the shine and sparkle. The above, combined with its durability and proven resistance to deterioration, makes it a perfect medium for the creation of monuments, buildings, and other constructive purposes.

6. How long does it take from the time a monument is ordered, until it is placed in the cemetery?

Taking into consideration the many steps involved in producing a memorial, delivery time is relatively short.

3. Where does the Granite come from?

Most of the memorials we offer come from quarries in the United States. Different parts of country produce different colors of granite. Granite is also imported from places such as South Africa, India, China, South America, and Scandinavia. Although granite deposits can be found and quarried all over the world, only granite from certain areas is proven to be of the quality required for memorials.

4. How are Granite Memorials made?

The creation of a monument involves many intricate steps. The process begins at the quarry, where granite blocks weighing up to twenty tons are cut and blasted from depths sometimes over 350 feet deep. Only about 25% of all granite lifted out quarries is of good enough quality to be used from memorials. Next, the blocks are cut into slabs, similar to slicing a loaf of bread, by huge diamond tip saws. The slabs are polished to a lustrous finish on both sides and then cut into individual memorial shapes. Using a hammer and chisel, highly skilled craftsman give each memorial its final shaping.

7. What factors go into the cost of a memorial?

A significant part of the cost of a memorial is the cost of quarrying and cutting the granite. Imagine the equipment needed to remove a twenty ton piece of rock from 300 feet in the earth. Quarries have made investments in the expensive machinery necessary to remove, cut, and polish granite. Naturally, such investments must be recovered in the price. Then figure in the labor of skilled craftsman who meticulously shape and finish the individual monuments. The memorial must then be delivered to the retailer, therefore, freight charges are added. The retailer must maintain and employ a full art department to assist families in design. The last element of the cost is the equipment and labor required by craftsmen to carve or etch the design on the memorial. When you consider that a memorial will stand forever as a lasting tribute to a loved one, memorials represent an excellent and enduring value.

What should a buyer look for when considering a memorial purchase?

The reputation of a retailer is key. Where have friends or family purchased memorials? How long has the person been in the monument business?

Visit a cemetery and check out the work of the retailer firsthand. This is also a great way to familiarize yourself with what is available and develop ideas from other monuments.

Make sure the retailer provides you with a full color sketch of the monument before you decide to purchase.

Remember, the “cheapest” price isn’t always the best deal. You will get what you pay for. When an alternative retailer offers you a comparable monument makes sure that you are comparing apples with apples. Competitors will often offer you the same design in a cheaper granite just to make the sale.

Most importantly, only buy from a retailer who can give you an unconditional written guarantee, warranting the workmanship and quality of the memorial itself.

The selection and personal design of a fitting memorial for a loved one can be a positive part of the grieving process. It provides a lasting and personal tribute to a loved one’s life.