Mausoleum Plaques: Types, Inscriptions & Where to Buy

Updated

When loved ones die, it’s important for many families to memorialize their final resting place. For those who are cremated, a niche marker can be attached to the columbarium niche where they are inurned. Those buried usually receive headstones or gravemarkers to identify their plot and honor the person resting there.

Jump ahead to these sections:

If your loved one was placed inside a mausoleum, you can mark their resting place by attaching a mausoleum plaque to the front. These plaques are a popular option for many families thanks to their versatility and affordability.

What Is a Mausoleum Plaque?

A mausoleum plaque is a type of commemorative plaque that marks a person’s. Mausoleum plaques differ slightly from headstones and niche markers because they are made specifically to adorn a mausoleum

Mausoleum plaques don’t necessarily have to be placed directly on the mausoleum structure. You’ll often find these plaques affixed to a pedestal that is in front of or beside a mausoleum. It might be styled to look similar to a headstone and you can often find similar products by searching for cremation niche plaques, crypt plaques, or memorial nameplates.

Depending on the space available for the memorial plaque, you might choose a smaller option similar to a cremation niche plaque to leave space for other plaques to be added later on. This is especially true of a community mausoleum.

Are There Different Types of Mausoleum Plaques?

Mausoleum plaques come in several different sizes, and most companies offer numerous options for personalization, style, and design. Depending on personal preferences, plaque space available, and mausoleum location, the options for customization are nearly limitless.

Here are a few different types of mausoleum plaques you’ll be able to choose from nearly anywhere you request a plaque.

  • Standard plaque: Plaques made for mausoleums are highly durable and can be personalized by requesting custom designs, shapes, sizes, inscriptions, medallions, and laser-etched or full-color photos. The standard plaque typically comes with three lines of inscription.
  • Rectangle plaque: Most plaques are rectangular by default. The plaque can be sized to requested dimensions to fit a mausoleum face or a pedestal.
  • Inscription-only plaque: This is the simplest of all plaque types. The inscription will contain only the person’s name, dates, and a short phrase or saying up to a certain letter count.
  • Inscription and picture plaque: Plaques have come a long way since they were first introduced. Today, you can opt for customizations like a laser-engraved picture or background scene. 
  • Full-color plaque: Plaques can have full-color pictures and background scenes etched into them. These will be more expensive because of the process required to create colors on bronze, but they create beautiful and lasting tributes similar to a full headstone.

Material types

There are several material types that plaques are crafted from, including stainless steel, brass, and bronze. Brass options can include standard brass, blackened brass, and antiqued brass.

The two types of materials that aren’t available for a mausoleum plaque include granite and marble. These two materials are commonly used for headstones, but not for plaques. Granite markers are very durable, are resistant to damage, can withstand harsh weather conditions, and last indefinitely. Marble markers are popular due to the material’s unique patterns, quality, and colors. 

If you think you’d prefer a granite or marble marker, you’ll need to communicate with the cemetery to determine if there is space available to place a traditional headstone beside the mausoleum.

How Much Do Mausoleum Plaques Cost?

Mausoleum plaques are typically more affordable than traditional headstones or grave markers. There is a bit of a price range, though, and you’ll find that the cost is directly related to the degree of customization requested. Here is a general breakdown of pricing for mausoleum plaques.

  • Text-only small plaque: $150 to $450+
  • Text-only medium plaque: $200 to $500+
  • Text-only large plaque: $300 to $600+
  • Border designs: Add $50+
  • Laser-engraved picture: Add $100+
  • Full-color picture or background: Add $150+

Prices range considerably depending on customizations and the material you choose for the plaque. Stainless steel will be the least expensive, brass will give you a mid-range price, and bronze will typically cost the most.

What Are Some Mausoleum Plaque Inscription Ideas?

Mausoleum plaques can be inscribed in countless ways to honor the life and memory of a loved one. Here are some inscription ideas to provide inspiration and help you find the right words to engrave.

Popular inscriptions

People often inscribe phrases that the deceased person used to say. Other popular options include prayers, wishes, or memories the family had of their loved ones. You might need to determine how much space you have to write before choosing an inscription. However, whether it’s a short or long phrase, what matters most is the meaning and sentiment you put into the words.

  • Forever in our hearts.
  • Nothing can take away the love a heart holds dear.
  • Those that touch our lives stay in our hearts forever.
  • Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.
  • Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened. 
  • You may be gone from my sight, but you are never gone from my heart.
  • Our hearts still ache in sadness, and all our tears still flow. What it means to lose you, no one will ever know.
  • Goodbye is not forever. Goodbye is not the end. It simply means I'll miss you until we meet again.

Religious inscriptions

Religious inscriptions might come from a person’s favorite verse, a prayer, or a quote from a religious leader.

  • Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
  • The Lord watch between me and thee, while we are absent one from another. Genesis 31:49
  • They can no longer die; for they are like the angels. Luke 20:36
  • The righteous shall go into life eternal. Matthew 25:46.

Life role inscriptions

Many families choose to talk about a person’s life roles as a way to honor them for what they did.

  • Here lies a beloved wife, mother, & daughter.
  • Scholar, Teacher, Leader, Friend.
  • She gave kindness and wisdom to all. 
  • More than a father, he was our best friend.

Poetic inscriptions

Still unsure of what to say? Consider choosing a line from a poem that your loved one treasured.

  • One short sleep past, we wake eternally. And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. – John Donne
  • Softly the leaves of memory fall, gently I gather and treasure them all. Unseen, unheard, you are always near, so missed, so loved, so very dear. – Unknown
  • As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us; as we remember them. – Jewish poem
  • How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. – Winnie the Pooh
  • There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart. – Mahatma Gandhi
  • I'll remember you. When I've forgotten all the rest. You to me were true. You to me were the best. – Bob Dylan

Where Can You Buy a Mausoleum Plaque Online?

It used to be that you could only purchase headstones, grave markers, and mausoleum plaques in person at a funeral home. Today, however, there are plenty of places online where you can purchase high-quality memorial plaques for your loved one.

Thanks to the FTC Funeral Rule, you don’t need to purchase a casket, headstone, or memorial plaque from the cemetery or funeral home you work with. You can purchase these items from any company. Just make sure you check with the cemetery regarding details and regulations about marker size, materials, permitted customizations, and any restrictions.

Plaque Direct

Plaque Direct has been designing and creating plaques since 1996. This company uses various techniques and a variety of high-quality materials to create amazing pieces to remember your loved ones. They specialize in online buying and online guidance for selecting a custom-designed memorial plaque.

Trigard Memorials

Trigard Memorials is a company from Illinois that creates long-lasting memorial plaques, from simple classic pieces to custom, intricate, full-color options. The company is known for its innovative techniques for shaping, coloring, and finishing bronze surfaces to produce grave markers, plaques, and signs.

Rome Monument

Rome Monument is a family business that’s been creating personalized memorials for families in Ohio since 1934. Rome Monument is a mausoleum construction company with over 80 years of experience. This company specializes in cemetery and cremation memorials including mausoleum plaques.

American Headstone Company

American Headstone Company is a family business established in 1983 to provide families with a simple, straightforward, and affordable way to honor and remember their loved ones. The company offers beautiful granite memorial stones, bronze flat markers, and bronze memorial plaques. They are known for their custom design work for headstones, cremation markers, tombstones, memorial plaques, flat cemetery markers, and stone monuments.

Franklin Bronze Plaques

Franklin Bronze Plaques was established in 2006 in the city of Franklin, Pennsylvania. The company is newer but already well-known for its high-quality bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, and nickel-based memorial plaques.

The Metal Foundry

The Metal Foundry produces hand-crafted metal plaques and signs of all types in metals ranging from aluminum to brass. Though a newer company, they have numerous five-star reviews on Amazon and Etsy praising their craftsmanship and quality. The company is based in the UK, but they do ship to America.

Memorializing Your Loved One

Even if a loved one’s death is expected, it’s hard to be fully prepared to lose the life of someone you love. One way to honor them and memorialize their contribution to the world is by installing a mausoleum plaque where they are buried. Customize the plaque to highlight their attributes, unique qualities, and contributions. When you’re finished, you’ll have a visible reminder of their presence in your life.

Icons sourced from FlatIcon.