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What's The Difference Between a Gravestone and a Headstone?

May. 22, 2024

Headstones and Gravestones

During visits to cemeteries, you've likely observed various stones marking graves, with some more elaborate than others. Essentially, a gravestone is positioned at the head of the grave, while a headstone is placed at the foot. Gravestones tend to be larger and slightly more prominent.


What is a Gravestone?


A gravestone is a stone marker placed over the grave of a loved one, typically bearing inscriptions of their name and other significant details. These stones are crafted from materials such as granite, marble, or limestone and can be designed to be simple or ornate based on your preferences. Some individuals may opt to include a picture of their loved one on the stone. The size of the gravestone is determined by factors such as the number of individuals buried in the plot, whether it's a family plot or a single grave.


What is a Headstone?


A headstone is typically a marker placed at the head of a grave, often inscribed with the name of the deceased, along with other important details and sometimes a special message from the family. At Monuments of Victoria, we recommend positioning the stone at the head of the grave so that the deceased faces East. In many cultures, there is a belief that the rising sun in the East symbolizes resurrection. As the sun represents life, it is fitting for the deceased to face it in anticipation of their resurrection.


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What's Next?


Gravestones are meant to mark the actual spot of the grave and headstones are meant to mark and honor the individual buried there. Depending on the cemetery of your or your loved one’s choosing, the regulations might dictate the sizes and placements of either choice. No matter which option you choose, the stone will serve as a lasting tribute to your loved one, reflecting their personality, interests, and more. When selecting a gravestone or headstone, there are many factors to consider, but it's essential that you feel confident and fully satisfied with the tribute we create for your dearly departed. Reach out to us today to discuss customizing the perfect stone for your loved one.


Choosing the Right Memorial Marker


When selecting a memorial marker for a loved one, it's essential to consider factors such as personal preference, cultural traditions, and cemetery regulations. Whether opting for a simple gravestone or a more elaborate headstone, the goal is to create a lasting tribute that honors the memory of the deceased and provides comfort to those who visit the gravesite.


Materials and Finishes


Gravestones and headstones can be crafted from various materials, including granite, marble, bronze, and even wood. Each material offers its own unique aesthetic and durability, allowing families to choose a marker that reflects their loved one's personality and legacy.


Customization Options


Both gravestones and headstones offer numerous customization options, from engraved inscriptions and symbols to personalized designs and artwork. Working with a reputable memorial provider can help ensure that the chosen marker accurately captures the essence of the deceased and meets the family's specific preferences.




While the terms "gravestone" and "headstone" are often used interchangeably, understanding the subtle differences between them can enhance our appreciation for the rich tapestry of memorial traditions and practices. Whether opting for a simple gravestone or a more elaborate headstone, the act of memorializing our loved ones serves as a testament to the enduring bonds of love and remembrance.


For assistance in selecting the perfect memorial marker for your loved one, contact us. As a trusted supplier of memorial products, we are dedicated to helping families honor their cherished memories with dignity and respect.

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