The Evolution of Headstone Decor

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2 min read

From the traditional to the contemporary.

The Beginning

The evolution of simple grave marker to elaborately designed headstone can be associated with early Roman and Celtic cultures. Artfully designed headstones depicted attributes and experiences of the individuals laid to rest, detailing their lives. As religious faith became a center of people’s day-to-day lives, headstones began to reflect that importance, with cross-like forms and inscribed insignia becoming more and more popular.

The past-century has presented the greatest evolution in monument type and design. Traditional monuments often portray a religious phrase, Bible verse or symbol, such as the cross or Star of David. Older memorials tend to live by the “bigger is better” trend, where your headstone was a testament to your status within the town, while the markers for children who had passed often included a small etched lamb. It’s not uncommon for the designers at St. Charles Monuments to receive a request for an “old-world” look that could have been from centuries ago. A timeless approach to headstone design will always be a popular choice.

Traditional Monuments - St. Charles Long Island


Looking toward the future..

On the other hand, contemporary looks and additions to the classic headstone are growing in full force. We often see a laser-etched photograph of a child who has passed, a reference or carving of a beloved pet, or the deceased’s signature. A full depiction of a loved one’s favorite film, like Star Wars or Harry Potter, or a sports logo for the ultimate fan are more popular than ever. The sky is literally the limit with modern headstone designs, where the headstone tells the story of the deceased, paying homage to their personality and interests, and reflecting individuality.

The evolution of headstones is truly next level, and the craftsman at St Charles Monuments are well-versed in the traditional and contemporary design types. It’s not uncommon for a person to have a hand in their own headstone design, ensuring that certain aspects of their life will be reflected in the finished look. In fact, you can select, design and pre-order a headstone from your own home, should you wish! Have an idea, or unsure of where to begin? The service representatives at St. Charles Monuments are available to discuss options and design ideas at your convenience, to ensure that your gravestone is as traditional or as contemporary as you could possibly imagine.

Monuments in St. Charles Cemetery


What people say about us

“Thank you Marcus. We drove by the monument yesterday afternoon. My husband and I were very pleased. Thank you for giving us a gift of comfort and peace.”

Mary Amber

“Thank you so much. It has been a comforting and pleasant experience working with St. Charles Monuments. The memorial set looks great.””

Pam Carter

“The headstone is beautiful. They did a fantastic job. Again my family and I thank you for all your help with suggestions and with the arrangements.”

Laura Leddy

“My family and I visited my husband’s grave today. We were very pleased with the results. It looks very nice. Thank you.””

Mrs. Guginsky

 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ
 for all Cemeteries in NY & NJ