What to Know: Pricing & Shapes

While shopping for your monument, it is important to understand that every monument company is different. Some specialize in standard run-of-the-mill memorials while others specialize in custom creations that may be treasured for decades to come.

At Watson Signs & Monuments, we pride ourselves as memorial artists who strive to "get-to-know" your loved one and create a monument that truly depicts who he or she was.

No two monuments that we create are alike. Each monument we make may vary in shape, size, color, polish, and the design. Because so many variables go into our memorials, we are unable to post pricing information on our website.

If you would like to obtain pricing information on one of the memorials you have seen on our website, please call one of our memorial artists at (979) 696-0800 or email us at watsonmonumentco@gmail.com and we will be glad to provide the information that you need.

Monument & Marker Styles

There are many different styles of granite memorials. You need to know the correct terminology so that you can accurately describe them when discussing options with the cemetery or ordering. The following will teach you the definitions of the terms we use. 

Upright MonumentsUpright Monuments 

• Designed to stand straight up perpendicular to level ground.
 • The engraved marker portion is known as a "die." Most are usually 6" or 8" thick but can be produced up to 1’ thick and sometimes more depending on the stone and the quarry it comes from.
 • The horizontal portion is known as the base and is usually required. When there is no base to the monument, it is known as a monolith.
 • The larger size allows for more personalized expression and room for engraving.
 • Scenic designs and the family name are popular additions on the back.

Slant MonumentsSlant Monuments 

• Upright slant shape. The width is measured at the base.
 • The top is usually 2 inches thick.
 • The top can be flat, oval, or serpentine shaped.
 • A standard 2 inch to 4 inch nosing is recommended. This protects the polished, etched surface.
 • A base is optional and usually not required.
 • May be used for individual or companion.

Flat MarkersFlat Markers 

• Designed to lie flat at the lawn level.
 • All are a minimum of 4 inches thick.
 • May be used for individual or ordered double width for a companion.
 • Perfect application for adding bronze, some cemetery restrictions may require  bronze on granite.

Bevel MarkersBevel Markers 

• Often called a Pillow Marker or Hickey.
 • Slight bevel slant from back to the front of the marker.
 • The back is 2" thicker than the front to provide this bevel effect
 • May be used for individual or companion.
 • Usually 6" or 8" thick, however, thicker markers are available.


• Designed to lie flat at the lawn level.
 • All are a minimum of 4 inches thick.
 • Covers the entire length of the interred.
 • The larger size allows for more personalized expression and room for engraving.

Ledgers with Slant or Bevel MarkersLedgers with Slant or Bevel Markers 

• Combines a ledger with a slant or bevel
 • Covers the entire length of the buried.
 • The larger size allows for more personalized expression and room for engraving.
Cremation Memorials

Cremation Memorials 

• Similar characteristics of the Upright Monument
 • Usually, have one or more containers for the placement of cremated remains (cremains). Cremation urns are not used.
 • Most cremation memorials and benches have cored spaces in the granite where the cremains are placed.
 • Much easier to maintain as the marker does not need to be moved for ground burials.


• Very popular for both a memorial and as a cremation memorial.
 •A base is usually not required but can be beneficial to keep the bench level in the cemetery.
 • Some style benches can hold the cremains of up to 6 loved ones.
 • Enhances the beauty of burial garden, prayer garden, or any large memorial.
Rock Monument

Rock Monument or Back to Nature Boulders

• Similar characteristics of the Upright Monument
 • Area available for expression, decoration, and engraving is variable with the size of the stone and the polished face.
 • Bronze markers may be mounted
 • May also be used as a cremation memorial.


There are many different finishes available on our granite monuments and markers. Most flat markers, bevel markers, and slant monuments have a polished face. Upright monuments are usually polished on the front and back. Typically bases are polished on the top. You may choose to have more sides or the entire marker polished at an additional charge. Visible surfaces that are not polished are rock pitched. The bottom of every marker is usually sawed since they are not visible.
 • Polished - Smooth surface, high gloss mirror-like shine 

 • Sawed - Smooth surface, dull look of the natural stone
 • Steeled - Smooth surface, appears lighter and frosted
 • Thermal or Flamed – Rough surface, generally level, finished with an intense flame or sand blaster with special blast material
 • Rock Pitched - Rough surface, finished with hammer and chisel

Types of Carving

• Flat Carving: Outline only, without shape.
 • Shaped Carving: Textured and dimensional.
 • Simple Carving: Simplistic flower or leaf design.
 • Band Carving: Continuous carving around the memorial.
 • BAS Relief Carving: 3 Dimensional, Very complex, and expensive.
 • Complicated Carving: Complex designs and heavy carvings


• Etching designs must be on either black, deep red or dark mahogany granite material. Etchings are not suitable for gray or white granites. They are exceptionally beautiful on Black, Dakota Mahogany, and Canadian Mahogany.
 • Use etching designs when your picture requires a lot of detail
 • Etching designs are permanent, just not as deep as sandblasted carving
 • The complexity of design and size of memorial determine etching cost. We are capable of etching any design into granite that you want to create. • Designs, pictures, scenes, and portraits may be plain or colored etched
 • Plain etching results from the natural color of the granite appearing through the granite polish.
 • Color etchings are created from using different colors of special lithochrome paint in a plain etching.

Panel Types

Panel Types

The different kinds of panels that are used for lettering are called "Family Name Panels" and "Inscription Panels".
 • Family name panels may be placed on the front and back side of an upright monument. This must be indicated when you order. We assume all engraving and etching are on the front of the marker unless otherwise specified. 

 • The finish for a panel may be frosted or polished.
 • Frosted-finish panels will appear to be lighter than the granite color and not shiny.
 • Polished-finish panels will have a high gloss, mirror-like shine

Upright Monument Shapes

There are a wide variety of tops and ends available. However, if you want a memorial with tops and ends that are different or unusual, those designs will usually be more expensive.

Upright Monument Types

What does a Cremation Memorial look like?

A cremation Memorial is what ever you want it to be. But most importantly, it tells a story. It is a fitting tribute to the life of the one whom it represents. And it can be anywhere.