Bronze Headstones – Cast Bronze Mounted on Granite…

Bronze headstones are produced from molten metal, mostly copper with other chemicals added for strength and other qualities, poured into a prepared mold that contains the lettering, design, emblems etc. in reverse – so the molten metal fills the openings. When the metal cools and the mold is released, the metal letters, etc. stand up above the plate. This method contrasts with granite headstones where the lettering, design, emblems, etc. are cut into the stone. Of course, you can chisel the granite away from around the letters on a granite headstone to create raised letters, however, that is a much more expensive way of doing it.  The raw bronze headstone is then covered with a protective coating to give it a patina (color) and the raised areas are polished making the design, lettering etc. stand out against the background. It is then sprayed with a protective coating to keep it from oxidizing (copper atoms combining with oxygen atoms). Bronze turns a greenish color over time due to the copper atoms which reflect light in the 5000 angstrom range (what your brain perceives as green). That’s why old bronze statues, etc. have a greenish color.

Bronze headstones are, for their size, much more expensive than granite headstones. Partly it is a result of raw copper prices, and, partly a result of more complicated manufacturing process. Generally, you can use a bronze in any cemetery you can use granite. However, the reverse is not always the case as some cemeteries actually require you to purchase the more expensive bronze. Below are just a few samples of the bronzes we have supplied over the years.


Above is a typical bronze headstone which consists of a 24×12 cast bronze plate bolted onto a 28x16x4 mahogany granite base. This is a typical size for a single. This particular bronze is very clean in appearance with sheaves of wheat for the design. Because of the way bronzes are manufactured – and there only a limited number of foundries in the US producing them – additional lettering beyond the name and dates often increases the price slightly although 4 or 5 words for an inscription and a couple emblems are included in the base price.


Because of the high relative cost of bronze headstones compared to a flat grass level granite headstones, people sometimes purchase them in a smaller sizes. This is especially true in those cemeteries where they are forced to use a bronze headstone. The above is a 19×7 bronze plate on a 24x12x4 mahogany granite base.  We try to use the “tea rose” design on the smaller bronzes as it allows room for lettering, etc. Even though smaller in size, the above looks very, very sharp. We used an emerald green color for the background (the first bronze shown uses a more common brown).


This bronze is typical single size (24×12). This one is mounted on a moonlight gray granite base, and, it has a built in vase. The vase can be flipped over and slid down through the bronze and granite into a cup in the ground. When used, it is simply pulled up with a knob on the bottom of the vase, flipped over and inserted into locking lugs cast into the bronze plate. The vase is nice, but, we prefer not to sell them for bronzes in some areas of the city. Although attached to the bronze with a chain, the bronze can be easily “snapped” loose. A few druggies with a pick-up truck have been known to cruise through a cemetery and pull all the vases in a section in a short period of time. The vases are sold as “scrap metal” – used copper is worth something.


Above slightly larger bronze than the Palms shown above (this one is a 20×10 bronze plate on 24x12x4 royal mahogany granite base) is still large enough for several facing angel emblems – though you can use any type of emblem.


Modern manufacturing technique has allowed the casting of photos and images into the bronze itself. This is expensive, but gives life-like multiple portraits and images. This is in a smaller size (20×10 bronze plate on a 24x14x4 granite base) and shows the lady as a young woman and then older. She loved the casinos hence the cards shown between her dates – as requested by the family.


Another way to get a picture is using a cast picture as shown above. This nice looking bronze headstone is a 20×10 bronze plate on a 24x14x4 royal mahogany granite base. Use of the “tea rose” design allows room for the portrait and inscription without crowding.


Above showing how portraits and images can be merged on these type of specialty bronzes. Although fairly small (the bronze plate is 20×10), it has the husband and wife’s portrait in front of their fireplace. Additional pictures have been merged on either side.


Above is a “double level” type headstone (for two people buried double deep in one grave). The bronze plate is 16×24 bolted to a 28x20x4 moonlight gray granite base. There is plenty of room for emblems and inscription. As you can see the lady sought an outdoor theme – looks really nice and met her requirements.


Moving to double width bronze headstones designed to cover two, side by side graves the bronze plate above is a full 3′ wide and bolted to a granite base 3 1/2′ wide. The border is in the “greek key” style and is very, very classy. The lady chose the emblems to give a personalized feeling. Note, her final date has not been installed. When the time comes, a small bronze plate is screwed in where the open space is. Ease of doing final dates is one advantage the bronze headstones have – it is cheaper than sand blasting them into the granite which is how final dates are done on granite only headstones. This is a big, heavy headstone. We installed this one in a smaller, semi-rural cemetery a few years back.


This was installed in a nearby cemetery and is a very, very sharp looking bronze headstone. It has the retractable vase and the lady included the shamrocks for her Irish husband – in case you can’t guess from the inscription. She was very happy with it.


And we believe we can provide you with a bronze headstone, or granite headstone for that matter, that you, too, would be happy with. The above designs are just a tiny fraction of headstones that we have produced and installed over the decades. Give us a call. Let us help you with your needs.