There’s a lot to decide when it comes to cremation urns. These are more than just urns for ashes, they’re a visual form of legacy. When you’re buried, a lot of thought goes into choosing the headstone. The same is true for cremation urns.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What’s a Marble Urn?
- How Much Do Marble Urns Usually Cost?
- Popular Types of Marble Urns
- How to Choose Which Urn Is Best
With so many options to choose from, where do you begin? Many people flock to the elegant stole of stone urns, especially marble cremation urns.
If you’re considering a marble urn for yourself or a loved one, there are a few things to know. In this guide, we’ll share the different types of marble cremation urns as well as how to make the best choice to fit your needs.
What’s a Marble Urn?
Marble urns function much like any other urn, but they come in a variety of colors and styles. A marble urn, in simple terms, is a container where the ashes of a loved one are stored.
Though marble is a naturally light-colored stone, it comes in many different colors. These colors are a result of the impurities that happen when the rock is formed. These impurities appear in the marbles swirls, shades, and vein designs.
Two types of marble used in urns
It’s also important to note the two types of marble used in urns. These types are natural marble and cultured marble. They each have their pros and cons:
- Natural marble: This is an elegant and luxurious choice. Natural marble, as the name implies, is any marble that’s quarried from the ground. It’s made primarily of limestone that’s been crystallized over millions of years.
- Cultured marble: Though it often looks identical to natural marble, this is a manufactured product. This is a less-expensive alternative to natural marble, but it resembles the same color and quality. Not only is cultured marble inexpensive, but it’s also easy to care for and durable.
History of marble urns
Unlike other materials seen today, marble urns actually have a rich history. Since the early days of human cremations, the Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks used marble. While many of these have been destroyed over time, it’s still clear that marble was the favored choice.
In Ancient Rome, for instance, marble urns featured extensive decorations. They were a form of artistic expression even after death. These weren’t just for the upper-class members of society. They were common amongst all classes of folks. Ultimately, this marble urn tradition paved the way for new forms of art.
Those who choose marble urns today tap into this tradition. From small urns to companion urns, these still exist today as modern works of art.
How Much Do Marble Urns Usually Cost?
So how much does an urn cost? Marble urns vary in price. The specific price depends on a variety of factors like:
- Material (natural vs. cultured marble)
In general, you can find a marble urn anywhere from $70-$300+ depending on the specific model. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so there’s a lot of room for customization. Many are surprised by just how affordable marble urns can be, especially when talking about cultured marble.
You can also choose a custom marble urn or a custom urn in general through a provider like Foreverence. Though this will be a bit more expensive, you can feel confident you're getting the perfect thing to honor your loved one's memory.
Popular Types of Marble Urns
There are many types of marble urns to choose from, similar to other materials. This is where you’ll find the most variation. The urn you choose depends on your specific intentions as well as your budget.
1. Keepsake urn
A keepsake marble urn is usually smaller than a traditional urn. It’s used to keep a small selection of cremation ashes.
This is common if you’re planning to split the ashes amongst family members, or if you’ll be scattering a portion of the ashes. A marble keepsake urn makes a beautiful tribute to a loved one to hold on to.
2. Companion urn
Next, a companion urn is a set of two urns typically joined together at the base. This is a powerful way to memorialize the life of a couple.
A relationship this strong isn’t separated by death, so having the two marble urns formed together makes an impressive statement.
3. Infant marble urn
Some marble urns are made specifically for infants and young children. Like a keepsake urn, infant urns are smaller than traditional adult urns, but they function in a similar way.
These are a form of comfort and peace to someone who has lost a child, and they can be styled in the child’s favorite color or engraved with a special message.
4. Marble pet urn
For the pet who lived life to the fullest, a marble urn is a touching tribute. As you might expect, pet urns are smaller than adult urns, and they’re typically fashioned with decorative elements suitable for a dog or cat.
5. Marble art urn or statue
Since marble has such a rich art tradition, it comes as no surprise that it’s possible to incorporate both art and function. Marble art urns often resemble marble statues, picturesque and elegant in themselves. They contain a compartment for storing a loved one’s ashes, a touching, discreet tribute.
6. Clock urn
It’s also common to see the urn fastened with a functional clock. This type of urn looks particularly stunning in marble, and it’s also something you’ll cherish within your home. It’s functional, stylish, and memorable.
7. Angel urn
Since marble is the perfect medium for sculpture, it’s commonly used to create figurines that function as urns.
An angel urn resembles a guardian angel watching over you, a constant reminder that your deceased loved one is closer than you think.
8. Tower urn
A marble tower urn looks like a rectangular tower of marble. It includes a compartment for securing ashes, but you might not guess it’s an urn otherwise.
This tower urn creates a bold, modern appearance for someone who loved to make a statement in life.
9. Colored marble urn
When browsing for marble urns, you’ll quickly discover some unexpected colors. These aren’t usually manufactured colors. In fact, the light-colored rock you know so well is only formed from limestone that has very few impurities.
Any marble with impurities like clay minerals, iron oxides, or bituminous material turns black, pink, yellow, gray, or even blue. These colors also make gorgeous urns.
10. Traditional marble urns
Last but not least, marble urns also resemble the traditional urn shape and size. This oval shape is a classic, and the marble look is timeless. This is the perfect compromise that always looks great, no matter how much time passes.
How to Choose Which Urn Is Best
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the best urn for your loved one. You’ll want to make an informed decision based on their preferences, your family’s preferences, and your budget.
Here are some things to keep in mind to guide your search:
- Budget: Of course, the first thing to ask yourself is how much you can afford. There’s a lot of variation in price points, so make sure you’re sticking within your budget.
- Size: The size you choose depends not only on the age and size of the cremated individual, but also on what you plan to do with the ashes. If you’re scattering or splitting the ashes amongst family, a smaller urn is more than enough.
- Material: What material speaks to you? From natural stones like marble to more modern styles, there’s something for everyone.
- Decoration and design: Lastly, choose a design, color, and decoration that makes sense to you. It could feature something meaningful to your loved one or make an impression on its own.
Is a Marble Urn Right for You?
Have you considered the best urn for you? Marble is a common choice for a reason. This material never goes out of style, and the material is durable.
Alternatively, many families are choosing non-traditional urns like memorial diamonds or memorial jewelry. Eterneva creates gorgeous, unique diamonds with human ashes or hair as a lasting memorial. When paired with a traditional urn, this is a touching tribute.
Choosing an urn, like choosing a headstone or planning the funeral, is a highly personal choice. The more you understand your options, the more confident you’ll feel that you’ve selected the perfect urn made of the best material. There’s no such thing as a wrong choice as long as it means something to you.
If you're looking for more urn buying advice, read our guides on unique urns and creative urns.
- Houseman, J. Cody. “Roman Imperial Cinerary Urns.” Emory University: Scholar Blogs. Scholarblogs.Emory.edu.