Marble was a very popular material used for making headstones in the US in the 19th century but it not as popular today. Of course many families ask why it is not common to see newer marble headstones and the answer has to do with the differences in the two types of stone.
- Marble is a brittle stone composed of dense crystalline or granular metamorphic limestone. Due to the composition of the stone, marble is a softer stone that is at a high risk of cracking, breaking and eroding. You will notice in the photographs above that the carving has become difficult to read over time due to eroding. Unfortunately this is the case with many historic headstones made of marble.
- Granite, on the other hand, is an igneous rock composed of primarily quartz and feldspar and some mica. Granite, unlike marble, is an extremely hard rock that is more likely to endure the test of time in the cemetery. Thus the reason that granite is more commonly used than marble.