Purchasing A Headstone

One of the most common we questions or comments we get at Sterling Monument Company is, “I’d like to purchase a monument, but I don’t even know where to start.” To many, the process of purchasing a headstone can be intimidating because it is not a known industry or a common purchase. Determining where to start of the first-steps to take can be difficult. At Sterling Monument Company, it is our mission to help customers tell the unique story of their loved one through what is engraved on their headstone, or to help someone who wants to relieve the burden from their family and create a “pre-need” monument (a monument purchased before their passing) that tells their unique story. For this process to be seamless and easy, it is a good idea to do a little research on few topics pertaining to the type of headstone you want, such as cemetery regulations, color, type of headstone, and discuss your budget.

Cemetery Regulations

It is always a good idea to contact the cemetery, where you’ve purchased your plot, to find out if they have certain regulations or requirements. These regulations vary from cemetery to cemetery, but the most common regulations are either the type of headstone or size restrictions. Some cemeteries only allow bronze markers, some only allow flat markers, and some have certain areas in their cemeteries only deemed for certain types of headstones– like “upright only” sections or “flat only” sections. It is also common for cemeteries to have height requirements for their headstones or width requirements, depending on their plot sizes. While you, as a customer, don’t need to know all of the in’s and out’s of cemetery regulations, it is good to have a general idea if there are any restrictions, or what type of restriction, you are dealing with to keep from the frustration of potentially ordering an upright headstone for a “flat only” section.

Headstone Color

While many memorial consultants can help you determine what colors are right for you, having a general knowledge of granite headstone colors will help your make your sales process easier. The most common colors for granite headstones are gray (from Georgia), black (from India or China), morning rose (Canada), mahogany (the Dakotas, Canada, or India), India Red (India), or Blue Pearl (quarried in Norway, fabricated in India or China). The headstone color choice will determine many factors, such as price, turnaround time, and complexity of design. If you’re seeking a lower-priced headstone, gray will be the most economical option. If a quick-turnaround is what you’re needing, most monument companies keep traditional-sized gray granite in stock–some are able to stock other colors as well. A good rule of thumb is to stick to a domestically quarried granite, such as gray or mahogany, and ask your memorial consultant for traditional sizes if you’re hoping for a quicker turnaround. If you’d like a more complex design, like your family ranch displayed on the back, black will be your choice due to the ranch needing to be laser-etched into the stone. Check out our monuments page to get an idea of different headstone colors.

Type of Headstone

One of the first questions a memorial consultant will ask you is what type of monument you like. Simply put–do you like one that lays down or stands up? Do you like a traditional style or are you hoping for something more custom, like an angel or heart? Be sure to look at our Galleries page to check out some beautiful examples. The good news is–the internet has
MANY examples. However–buyer beware–just searching the internet can be very misleading. Although is it nice to be able to and purchase a headstone with the click of a button, keep in mind this is not a common purchase and there many complexities that come with making an installing a headstone. With the amount of money you plan to spend on this headstone, consider working with a memorial consultant at Sterling Monument Company who is an expert in this field. They can help you with sizes and designs, as opposed to being stuck with certain designs and sizes on an online design tool. Their
mission is to tell a story through memorialization. We have several locations across Texas– click here to find a Sterling Monument Company near you! Another way to get an idea of what you’d like is simply walking through your local cemetery and seeing what types of headstones you like.


Another key to buying a headstone is pre-determining your budget, or budget-range, before speaking with a memorial consultant. Making your budget known at the beginning of the sales process will help the memorial consultant steer you towards the styles and colors of headstones that are within your budget-range. Before determining your budget, headstone granite is priced by colors and sizes. The bigger and more custom headstones are more expensive as are the imported colors (like India Black and India Red) are more expensive than the gray headstones. Searching the internet for granite headstones can give you an idea, but again–buyer beware. Most headstones that are purchased online are priced the sell. Many are selling smaller and thinner stones (compared to more traditional sizes and thicknesses). And, most prices do not include installation. When buying from a Sterling Monument Company, we handle all details from start to finish!

For more FAQs (frequently asked questions), check out our FAQ page!