What do you choose when it comes time for the unthinkable, and you must pick an urn or memorial for your loved one? You may have many questions, such as what materials are best. Why do materials even matter? And perhaps you may have asked yourself why granite seems to be the most common offering.
You may even be wondering if it is worth choosing granite as a material. In this article, we hope to bring you both answers and peace of mind regarding why material matters for memorials and why many recommend granite.
What is Granite?
Typically, granite is a light-colored coarse or medium-grained intrusive igneous rock. Granite's name is taken from the Latin word "granum" or "grain," as its mineral grains fit tightly together. Granite is phaneritic, meaning its grains are large enough to distinguish with the human eye. Igneous (from the Latin word for fire) forms when hot from magma is forced into older rocks; molten rock crystallizes and solidifies. The melt occurs deep within the earth near active plate boundaries or hot spots, then rises toward the surface.
Granite is the most common plutonic rock of the earth's crust. Granite may occur in dikes or sills, but more characteristically, it forms irregular masses of highly variable sizes, ranging from less than a few miles to large masses, called batholiths, that can be hundreds or thousands of square miles in area.
Granite's organic element is feldspar. Feldspar is a group of aluminosilicate minerals containing calcium, sodium, or potassium, and feldspars make up more than half of the earth's crust. In most granite, the dominant to the subdominant felspar ratio is less than two.
Why Granite as a Material Matters
Despite other materials' rising popularity, granite is still among the most popular choices for memorials, monuments, gravestones, and urns. But why?
One of the biggest reasons granite is a must for memorials is its strength and durability. Granite is not only a material that will last you a lifetime but can last centuries. While marble is undeniably beautiful and unique in its visual appeal, it is a very soft stone that can begin to wear in harsh weather conditions.
Unlike other materials, granite is highly resistant to chipping, fading, and scratching. As it is also a very dense material, it remains weather-resistant for decades, allowing delicate embellishments and engraving to stay sharp and clear.
What makes Granite so strong?
Granite consists of the minerals known as quartz and feldspar, with or without a wide variety of other minerals. Granite is solid and durable thanks to its mineral grains growing so tightly together through a very long and slow cooling period. Additionally, the quartz and felspar within the granite are more rigid and durable than steel.
These features make granite highly desirable for buildings, kitchen counters, statues, and the best material for monuments and urns.
Beauty and Color
Granite, as we mentioned, has several different minerals, making every slab unique. The composition of granite's minerals dictates the fantastic colors and patterns. Elements such as quartz, feldspar, and mica lead to a stunningly beautiful, individualistic monument or urn. Granite can come in pink, red, white, and many variations of grey and black.
Some granite pieces come with bold colors formed within their veins and flakes, and thanks to the quartz, feldspar or mica can sparkle in the sun.
Most natural stone tends to be porous. Porous stones have thousands of minuscule holes, usually too small to be seen by the human eye, in which air and moisture can get into. When porous stones get filled with water during freezing temperatures, there's a massive chance that the porous rock will crack once temperatures warm. Porous stones often require a sealing treatment to prevent this from happening.
Granite is not a porous stone, as its tight crystalline structure ensures that water is nearly impossible to penetrate, making it an exceptional choice for a monument or urn that deals with extreme weather, temperatures, or humidity changes. It also means granite can be safely cleaned and gently washed with mild detergent and water, or dirt and debris can be removed without worrying about scratches with a soft bristle brush.
With granite's centuries of durability, weather-resistant toughness, easy maintenance, and undeniable beauty, is it any wonder why this material matters when it comes to memorials and urns?
If you seek a breathtaking urn that reflects a loved one's unique life to stand the test of time, granite is the ideal solution, and why it, as a material, matters so much.