Everlasting Stories in Stone

Memorial Terminology

Memorial Types
Monument Profiles
Finished Surfaces
Other Surfaces
Flat Marker Edges

Memorial Types

  • Flat Marker, or Flush Marker - Flat stone placed in front of a family memorial or individually to mark a grave.  A Marker is lettered and usually carved.
  • Upright Monument, Tablet or Die - Upright tablet that is lettered and/or carved.  The top piece of a traditional two-piece memorial.
  • Pillow or Hickey Marker - Similar to Marker except it has a slight slope from back to front.  Most Pillow Markers drop approximately 2" from back to front.
  • Slant - Similar to an Upright tablet with the face cut at a steep angle.
  • Bench - comprised of Seat and Supports (2-Leg Supports or a Single Die Support).
  • Monubench – combination of monument and bench
  • Base - The bottom piece of a memorial upon which a tablet is placed.
  • Vase - Vases are tapered with finishes matching those of the Tablet or round turned vases are usually polished.
  • Vase Blocks –Used separate from the memorial to contain a metal vase
  • Ledger - A flat memorial, covering most or all of the grave space.

Monument Profiles

  • Serp - Serpentine Top, top of Tablet is raised slightly (1 or 2 inches) in the center.
  • Flat - Flat Top, top of Tablet is flat.
  • Oval - Oval Top, top of Tablet is rounded.
  • Gable or Roof Top - Top of Tablet is high in the center and drops approximately 2" towards the ends.
  • Apex  - Apex Top, top of Tablet is high in the center and all four sides come up to a single point as a pyramid.


  • Polished - The surface of the stone is ground with finer and finer abrasives until it reaches a high gloss.
  • Steeled - The surface of the stone is blasted or ground with Steel Shot until it reaches a flat textured surface.
  • Honed - The surface of the stone is ground with abrasives until it reaches a smooth surface but has no gloss.
  • Rock Pitch - This is a very rough surface, it is the natural fracture of the stone.

Finished Surfaces

  • P2 - Polished two sides: front and back.
  • P3 - Polished three sides: front, back and top.
  • P5 or All Polished - Polished five sides: front, back, top and both ends.
  • P4 - Polished four sides: front, back and both ends.  Example: bench legs.
  • *Note: The same type of designation is used for other finishes. Example: S2 - Steeled two sides: front and back.

Other Finishes

  • BRP - Balance Rock Pitch
  • BS - Balance sawn.
  • SS - Sawn Sides
  • PFT - Polished Flat Top
  • SFT - Steeled Fat Top
  • PBT - Polished Bevel Top
  • PSF - Polished Slant Face
  • FN - Front Nosing; the finished portion on the bottom front of a Standard Slant
  • NFN - No Front Nosing; the polished slant face continues to the bottom, referred to as Western Slant
  • Margin - Polished or Sawn border around the top of a Base or Pillow Marker, usually one to two inches in height
  • Pencil Round - A slight radius either polished or honed around the top of a marker


  • Shape Carving - Technique used to create a three-dimensional appearance making the floral carving appear life like.
  • Flat Carving - Outlines are sandblasted around the floral carving while the surfaces of the blooms and leaves are left flat.
  • Stencil - Lettering and Designs are cut into rubber stencil that is designed to resist the sandblast.  Exposed stone is etched by the sand resulting in the transfer of the lettering and design to the surface of the stone.


  • No Panel - Lettering is cut directly into the polished or steeled surface of the stone.
  • Frosted Panel - The area within the border of the panel is lightly sandblasted.  This process generally lightens the color of the stone creating a contrast between the panel and the surrounding surface.
  • Polished Panel - The area within the border of the panel remains polished.
  • Single V-Line Panel - Two V-lines are etched into the stone creating a double border around a family name or inscription panel.


  • Sandblast V-Sunk - Deep sandblasted letter; sandblasted until back of the letter forms a "V".
  • Skin Cut - Shallow sandblasted letter: the sandblast just breaks the surface of the stone.
  • Frosted Outline - The surface of the letter is lightly sandblasted and a deep outline is etched around it.
  • Raised Letters - The area around the letters is sandblasted away leaving the letters raised above the background.
  • Font - Lettering Style.  The most widely used is Modified Roman V-Sunk.
  • Litho - A coloring material sprayed into the lettering and carving to create an artificial shadow.  Litho is available in a variety of colors, however, Black is the most widely used.  It is not permanent!
  • No Litho - Term used to indicate that no artificial coloring is to be sprayed in the lettering or carving.  Note: On lighter-colored granites lettering cut in the polish with no panel will not be legible without some litho for contrast. 

Flat Marker Edges

  • Polished Oval Bevel – 2” polished oval shaped bevel edge around border of flat marker
  • Polished Straight Bevel – 2” polished bevel edge around border of marker
  • Lawn Mower Proof (LMP) – ¼” polished, rounded edge around border or flat marker
  • Miscellaneous
  • Rubbing - Method by which the lettering and carving on an existing stone are transferred to paper.  Special rubbing transfer paper is available.  Rubbings are used to duplicate all or part of an existing stone.
  • Proof Drawing – scale drawing with name, dates, design, etc exactly as it will be seen on the memorial. This must be signed for approval
  • Preliminary Presentation Drawing - Conceptual drawing that is a close approximation of the final memorial used to help secure an order. This does not require a signature.



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