Vanover Monument Company


We offer many styles of lettering.  In addition to a variety of fonts, we also offer a variety of techniques for carving lettering into stone.  This involves different outline treatments as well as different processes for finishing the stone or panel area around lettering.  Here are some samples that may help you with your selection.

LetteringSunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Modified Roman)

LetteringFrosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Sans Serif/Optima)

LetteringFrosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Modified Roman)

LetteringSunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Uncial Gothic)

LetteringSquare Edge Raised Letters in a Straight Line Panel (Modified Classic Roman)

LetteringFrosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Custom Font/Hand-Drawn)

LetteringSunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Old English)

LetteringFrosted Outline (Double Outline) Letters in Polish (Old English)

LetteringSunk (Sandblasted) Into Polish (Vermarco)

LetteringSunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Condensed Modified Roman)

LetteringSunk (V-Sunk) Sandblasted In Steeled Finish (Modified Roman)

LetteringRound Edge Raised Letters in Relief (Custom Lettering/Hand-Drawn)

LetteringRound Edge Raised Letters in a Straight Line Panel (Modified Classic Roman)















Stone Finishes

There are many techniques for finishing the surface of a granite memorial.  This is often determined by the type and color of granite as well as the memorial design.

Finish PolishPolished Finish - Abrasives are rubbed on the surface of the stone with high-speed polishing wheels to create a polished surface

Finish SteeledSawed, Steeled, Frosted - This matte finish is created by sawing the surface.  It may also be accomplished by sandblasting the surface with steel shot, or by frosting it with sandblast sand.

Finish Polish MarginPolished Margin - The surface is polished and a panel area is frosted, making a place for lettering.

Finish Shell RockShell Rock - This is a hewn surface with hewn sides.  This also referred to as Rock Pitch when seen on the sides of a monument.

Types of Carving

There are many techniques for carving stone or etching images into a stone surface.  Here are four of the most popular processes.

Carving Bas Relief Bas Relief - The entire surface of the monument is cut away, leaving the flowers in bas relief on top of the other surface.

Carving EtchingEtching - Typically used on black granite, this technique cracks the surface of the granite using a diamond-tipped tool or a laser.  When the granite's polished surface is etched it creates a high contrast image on the stone.  This is popular for photos and portraits.

Carving FatFlat Carving or Line Carving - This process involves sandblasting an image (of a flower, for example) on the stone.  There is no dimensioning or relief given to the carving.

Shaped Carving - This is a time-consuming technique that requires years of training with sandblast tools.  This process involves shaping the petals and leaves of flowers with a special sandblast nozzle.  Shaped carving gives depth and a sense of reality to the carvings on a monument.

Memorial Symbolism

Aesculapian Rod: A serpent and staff thought by many to be the proper symbol for doctors instead of the winged Caduceus.

Anchor: Hope; Jesus the anchor of the soul, traditional maritime symbol

Axe: A vow, consecration, defense

Banner: Triumph, victory

Beads: Prayer

Bell: Invitation, call to worship

Birds: Human souls

Bishop's Staff: Pastoral authority

Book: The Bible, Divine authorship, knowledge, scripture

Broken Column: Death

Butterfly: The Resurrection

Caduceus: Symbol of the medical profession (There are many variations depending upon the area of specialty.)

Candle: Jesus Christ the Light of the World, also the symbol of devotion

Candlesticks (two): Jesus’ qualities as both God and man

Candlesticks (three) or Three-Branched Candelabrum: The Holy Trinity

Candlesticks (five) or Five-Branched Candelabrum: The five wounds of Christ

Candlesticks (six) or Six-Branched Candelabrum: The six days of creation or the six hours spent by Jesus on the cross

Candlesticks (seven) or Seven-Branched Candelabrum: The Church, the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, or the Seven Sacraments

Circle: Eternity, completeness, perfection

Crossed Keys: St. Peter, Gates of Heaven

Crown: Rank, sovereignty, royalty

Crown of Thorns: The Suffering Savior, a Passion symbol

Cross: Christ and His atoning death, Christ’s redemption of fallen humanity

Dove: Peace, purity, meekness, modesty, humility, the Holy Ghost, divine inspiration, innocence

Eagle: Christ, Holy Baptism, St. John

Festoon: Memory

Fire: Martyrdom, zeal, inspiration, youthful fervor, hell, purgatory, sacrifice, purification

Fish: Jesus

Fish/Three: The Trinity

Five-Pointed Star: The wounds of Christ, the Star of Jacob, Divine guidance and protection

Flaming Sword: Expulsion from Eden, with shield: St. Michael

Grapes: The Eucharist, twelve bunches: the Apostles, clusters of grapes on a running vine: Jesus and His followers, the Church, unity

Hand: Issuing from clouds: the Father

Harp: Joy, music, symbol of St. Cecilia patron saint of musicians, associated with David and worship, worship in heaven

Heart: Christian charity, surmounted by a flame: intense zeal or devotion

Lamb: Innocence, purity, sacrifice, Christ

Lamp: Knowledge, truth, enlightenment, Word of God, good works, Divine inspiration

Pastoral Staff: Authority

Pierced Heart: With a lance or spear, a Passion symbol

Plenty, Horn of: The Lord's bounty, Thanksgiving

Pomegranate: The Resurrection, immortality, royalty, fertility, The Church

Pyramid: Light, strength

Rainbow: Promise

Ram: Sacrifice

Rod: Official power, also a Passion symbol

Rope: A Passion symbol, Judas' death

Rosary: Prayer

Rose: Love, Christ, The Nativity.

Rosette: An ornament in the form of a conventional rose or other design of circular form, used as a decoration

Scallop Shell: Baptism, the Baptism of Christ, Christian pilgrimage, and marine affairs

Scythe: Death

Serpent: Death, wisdom

Seven Golden Candlesticks: The Seven Churches of Asia Minor

Seven-Branched Candlestick: The Church, The Seven Churches of Asia Minor, The Seven Angels of the Apocalypse, The Seven Gifts of

the Sheep, Christians

Twelve Sheep: The Twelve Apostles, sheep and goats: the redeemed and the lost

Shield: Faith, protection

Shells: Christianity

Shepherd’s Crook: Authority, Dominion

Staff: Religious jurisdiction, kindness, shepherd-like qualities/responsibilities

Star: Christ, life

Sword: Power, justice, authority, martyrdom

Triangle: Trinity

Trumpet: Call to worship, call of the Holy Spirit, Judgment Day, resurrection

Urn: Death, sorrow (draped)

Wings: Aspiration, flight of the Gospel

Flowers -

While this list is not a complete list of all flowers, trees and other plants used in memorial art, it serves as a comprehensive guide to some of

the more popular symbols found in cemeteries.

Apple: The fall of man, sin, Eve, discord, Virgin Mary

Apple Blossom: Fame

Azalea: Temperance

Calla Lily: Sympathy, zeal

Clover: Industry

Cornucopia/Horn of Plenty: Bounty, blessings, Thanksgiving

Cultivated Rose: Everlasting love

Daisy: The Christ Child's innocence, youth, righteousness, innocence

Dogwood: Crucifixion

Easter Lily: Resurrection

Grape: Charity

Grape Vine: The Eucharist, The Church, unity, Christ and his followers

Holly: Christmas

Iris: God-like qualities, eloquence, a message, protection

Ivy: Memory, remembrance, faithfulness, friendship, (often seen with oak)

Laurel Wreath: Triumph, victory, distinction, reward, good report

Lily: Easter, resurrection, the Virgin Mary, purity

Lily of the Valley: The Virgin Mary, humility, purity, return of happiness

Morning Glory: Resurrection, youth, promise, bonds of love and affection

Oak: Strength, virtue, character, eternity, endurance, forgiveness, independence (often seen with ivy)

Olive Branch: Peace, victory

Orange Blossom: Matrimony, chastity, purity

Palm: Victory, eternal peace, heavenly reward, success, righteousness, martyrdom, victory over sin and death

Papyrus: Love

Passion Flower: Crucifixion, Passion of Christ

Pine: Eternity, everlasting life

Pineapple: Friendship, hospitality

Pine Cone: Fertility, regeneration, healing

Poinsettia: Christmas, birth of Hope

Pomegranate: Resurrection, immortality, royalty, eternity, The Church

Poppy: Sleep, consolation, rest

Rose: Love, Christ, Nativity, joy, martyrdom

Rosette: Decorative form of rose in a circle

Sunflower: Adoration, glory, the soul turning to Christ

Thistle: Independence, austerity, sin, the fall of man

Tulip: Love, charity, declaration of love, ardent affection

Violets: Modesty, humility, graciousness, affection, faithfulness, sweetness, loyalty

Wheat: Riches, thanksgiving, life, bread of life, Body of Christ

Wheat/Broken: Death

Wheat/Bundle: Harvest, bounty

Wild Rose: Love, Christ, Messianic promise

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A Tribute

A monument is an enduring tribute to your loved one that will speak to generations to come. Let us help you create the ideal memorial today.

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Much of our granite is quarried in Elberton, Georgia. Please click here to read about the fascinating process that takes stone from the quarry all the way to the cemetery.

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