Rome Monument specializes in designing and building high-priced, one-of-a-kind headstones, monuments, and mausoleums that appeal to wealthy families who wish to leave a lasting and superlative legacy. With our inhouse designers and our own monument production facility, Rome is fully equipped to carve, engrave, etch, and sculpt any artwork in the design of the 100% personalized monuments we build. Ours are not cookie cutter designs from a catalog of pre-designed headstones. These are high cost, expensive, high quality, high end monuments that are expensive for many reasons.
Many factors contribute to the expense of a cemetery monument. A large monument will cost more because of the extra materials needed to build it and the extra labor required to craft and install it. An elaborate monument will cost more due to the many fine details in the carving, bas relief, sculptures, and statues. The quality and color of granite affects the cost of a memorial. The better the craftsmanship, the better the value and the higher the price. By paying close attention to the factors below, you’ll be able to select and design the right monument at the right price for your needs.
Memorials and gravestones come in many different types, with various sizes and shapes – from small, inexpensive flat markers, to big-budget upright monuments, to deluxe, elegant mausoleum buildings.
Artistically styled upright monuments use classic or unusual design elements to enhance the beauty and personalize the message on the headstone. The stone is often sculpted into stunning 3-D shapes and inscribed with beautiful etchings or engravings. Embellishments such as a statue rising out of the base or headstone can certainly be an impressive addition. Wealthy couples, families, or other close relationships often choose unique upright headstone designs and double headstone designs for their memorial. The memorial can be either one headstone with both names inscribed, or, to make it more elaborate, two headstones, each with one name on it. Family and estate monuments mark 3 gravesites, 4 gravesites, 5 gravesites, and more than 5 gravesites. In addition to, or in place of individual headstones, families may choose to create a large, elaborate upright family or estate memorial that serves as the focal point for the grouping. Premium upright monuments range in price from $4000 to $30,000 for the more elegant custom styles.
Memorial statues and sculpted cemetery headstones and monuments can stand alone or be built in combination with other monument types. They can also adorn the facades of mausoleums and columbariums. Choose classic images such as angels or a cross, or create something so unique that it has never been done before and never be done again. For instance, the Jules Verne’s Tomb in Amiens, France, has a statue depicting the shrouded figure of the father of science fiction breaking his own tombstone and emerging from the grave. There’s nothing else like it in the world!
Private family mausoleums include 1 crypt, 2 crypt, family mausoleums, above ground burial vaults, columbariums and walk-in mausoleums. There are three basic types of mausoleums: above ground, free-standing burial vaults that are just large enough to encase a single coffin; a building with the crypt opening on the outside (Garden Mausoleum); a walk-in building with the crypt opening on the inside and spaces for sentimental artifacts and memorial accessories such as statuary, sculptures, vases, pictures, stained glass windows and more (Chapel Mausoleum). Rome Monument designs and constructs single crypt mausoleums (with an opening to hold the casket of just one family member) and double crypt mausoleums for two family members.
Rome utilizes impeccable construction standards and old world craftsmanship to design and build elegant mausoleums with the highest quality granite. With columns, statues, interior rooms, and landscaping, the sky’s the limit when it comes to cost. Private family mausoleums, crypts, walk-in mausoleums, above ground burial vaults and community mausoleums range in price from $15,000 to over $1,000,000. View pictures and get prices for family mausoleums and private family columbariums for sale by Rome Monument.
Watch a video produced by Rome Monument titled "See Inside Large Mausoleums Built for Famous Americans". This video showcases large, fancy million-dollar mausoleums designed and built as monuments for the entombment of famous Americans. The video features the Lincoln Tomb, Grant's Tomb, William McKinley Tomb, the Royal Mausoleum of Hawaii, Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun and the Lillian Russell Moore Mausoleum. Find out how these famous tombs and interment spaces were designed and constructed, how much it cost to build these historic mausoleums, and what it costs to build a beautiful private family mausoleum in 2019.
A cemetery columbarium is a free standing building or section of a mausoleum that contains urns with the cremated remains of the deceased. Private family columbariums can be large ornate structures with niches for several generations of family members.
A cemetery niche is a space inside of a mausoleum or columbarium that holds an urn with the cremated remains of the deceased. Rome can personalize and embellish the face of a niche with beautiful custom designs such as carved lettering, etched portraits, as well as symbols and imagery that convey the specific nationality or religion of the deceased.
If you choose cremation over traditional burial, Rome makes impressive cremation monuments and cremation headstones to house a cremation urn. These include natural boulders, memorial benches, upright monuments and mausoleums.
Bronze memorials can also be quite inspiring and costly. A bronze headstone requires that a model be made, and then it is cast. After that, the model is discarded, never to be used again.
Granite comes in many different varieties, colors, and grades. Each quarry has granite with different characteristics and variations in durability and color. Granite’s “grade” or quality is a measure of its durability, density, structural integrity, consistency, suitability for cutting, crafting and finishing. Higher grade, highly durable, highly consistent granite varieties are typically higher priced—because they look better and last longer. Harder to find granite varieties and colors are often priced higher. Source, location, and shipping distance also affects price. The higher the quality of the materials, the costlier the monument. The color of the granite used to make the monument also affects the price. Blue granite is generally the most expensive. Black granite, while exuding elegance and beauty, falls in the mid-range of prices. We use only the highest quality cemetery stones containing the best granite in our monuments.
The complexity of custom memorial and headstone design options also has a bearing on how expensive the monument will be. The design is limited only by your imagination (and your cemetery’s limitations and rules). Most any artistic design can be carved into granite or crafted into bronze. Granite carving processes can be simple or complex, one dimensional or multi- dimensional. Higher priced monuments usually include extravagant artwork, portraits, longer epitaphs or quotes, laser etching, hand etching, porcelain portraits, unique colors, artistic carving, detailed imagery, and custom designs. There’s no limit to how detailed and ostentatious your memorial can be. Here’s a look at a few of the most ridiculously extravagant (and expensive) monuments from around the world.
John Paul Jones’ Crypt is on display at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Jones, father of the American Navy, is best known for shouting, “I have not yet begun to fight!” when asked to surrender during a Revolutionary War battle. Jones died there and his elaborate black and white marble memorial features an above ground coffin covered in sculpted barnacles and held up by legs in the shape of dolphins.
The Davis Memorial in Hiawatha, Kansas, marks the grave of Sarah Davis from a wealthy Kansas farming family. Originally marked with a simple gravestone, over the years Sarah’s husband added more and more elaborate memorials - 11 total marble or granite statues in all! The astronomical cost upset the locals who were suffering under the poverty of the Great Depression. However, the gravesite has become a popular tourist attraction and a boon to the small Kansas town.
Willet Babcock, a furniture and casket maker by trade, has a statue of Jesus in Cowboy Boots atop his tomb in Paris, Texas.
Harry McNeish was a carpenter on Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition to Antarctica. Over 70 years after his death, the New Zealand Antarctic Society added a bronze statue of the ship’s cat and McNeish’s beloved friend, Mrs. Chippy, to his grave. You can visit the Mrs. Chippy Monument in Wellington, New Zealand.
Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali) was the first member of the experimental Army Camel Corps in America’s Southwest in the mid-1800’s. The Hi Jolly Monument in Quartzsite, Arizona, is marked by a stony pyramid topped by an etched metal camel.
Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb in New Orleans was preplanned by Nicolas, himself. It is conjectured that the stark, nine-foot-tall stone pyramid may pay homage to the “National Treasure” movie franchise.
Harry Collins was Frito-Lay’s official corporate magician. A statue of Collins stands atop his grave in Louisville, Kentucky, arm extended to welcome visitors into his world of corn chips and magic.
Paul G Lind, Scrabble fanatic, has an elaborate Scrabble Mosaic Tombstone erected in his honor in Portland, Oregon.
All it takes is a little creativity, a bit of kookiness, and a lot of cash to make an extraordinary memorial for the ages!
The size of the memorial is a major factor in determining its cost. Granite is expensive, and the more granite used, the costlier the monument. Size is often dependent on the type of memorial, though this is not always the case. Upright monuments tend to be larger and costlier than flat or slant markers. Mausoleums larger and costlier than upright monuments.
One of the biggest, most celebrated, and pricey memorials in North America is Grant's Tomb, honoring the life of Civil War General and 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant. It was commissioned in 1885 by the Mayor of New York following Grant’s death in 1877. Designer John Hemenway Duncan’s objective was "to produce a monumental structure that should be unmistakably a tomb of military character…and the epitome of reverence and respect”. The tomb's elegant granite exterior is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus with Persian elements. The twin sarcophagi of Grant and his wife Julia are similar to the sarcophagus of Napoleon Bonaparte at Les Invalides. Mosaics with scenes of Grant’s famous Civil War victories are found within the tomb. Located in Upper Manhattan, New York City, Grant’s Tomb is the second largest mausoleum in North America.
Craftsmen, designers, and technicians customize each monument’s artistic features. The experience, training, and capabilities of these individuals also affect the cost of producing high-caliber finished products. Monument prices are affected accordingly. The craftsmanship levels specified for monument design and construction directly affect the final price for a memorial purchase. If you’re in the market for an expensive monument, you want only the finest designers and craftsmen working on your masterpiece. That’s why you want Rome.
You can be sure that expensive cemeteries will have the most beautiful gravestones as well as the most expensive tombstones. You’re going to pay extra for the carefully manicured grounds, luxurious landscaping, and extraordinary views. For instance, in Santa Barbara Cemetery, a plot on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean costs about $83,000. The plot at the cemetery down the street a few blocks away from the ocean is a quarter the price. The website TheRichest.com compiled a list of some of the costliest cemeteries to be buried in.
Above-ground entombment has been reserved only for the wealthy at Graceland Cemetery in Chicago. Famous for its beautiful Victorian era design, topography and natural beauty, Graceland is the resting place of many wealthy Chicagoans. Brewer Peter Schoenhofen (1827 – 1893) has a one-of-a-kind tomb that features an Egyptian pyramid and sphinx with a typical Victorian era angel. Marshall Field (1835 -1906) is commemorated in a memorial created by architect Henry Bacon and sculptor Daniel Chester French – the men who later created the Lincoln Memorial. A statue of a sad-faced woman titled “Memory,” holds oak leaves, a symbol of calm courage. The Getty Tomb, perhaps the most impressive of all the monuments in Graceland, was commissioned by lumber merchant Henry Harrison Getty for his wife. Designed by famous architect Louis Sullivan, it’s a building of strong geometric massing, detailed with original ornament. Premium lots located near Lake Michigan cost about $120,000.
The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, features lush rolling hills, lakes, and wildlife, along with beautiful buildings and sculptures. It’s the resting place of New York’s Roosevelt clan, composer Leonard Bernstein, mobster Crazy Joe Gallo, and William Livingston, signer of the U.S. Constitution. Prices start at $320,000 for a 756 sq. ft. mausoleum site.
Mount Auburn Cemetery in historic Cambridge, Massachusetts, is known for its exquisitely designed gardens. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, senator Henry Cabot Lodge, and maritime hero Nathaniel Bowditch are buried here. The price of a premium burial plot can approach $500,000.
Kensico Cemetery in New York City is a luxurious and scenic final resting place for author Ayn Rand, Lou Gehrig and a great many other rich and famous New Yorkers. Plots at Kensico start at about $500,000 for private mausoleums.
The Woodlawn Cemetery in Brooklyn is considered by many to be the most beautiful cemetery in the world with its bronze, steel and stone works adorning the mausoleums, gates and statues found inside the grounds. Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, and Moby Dick author Herman Melville are buried here. The price of private mausoleums can cost $1.5 million.
At Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills and Glendale, California, with its pricey gravestones for celebrities, a prime location costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the Glendale site, you’ll find rich and famous people the likes of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Stewart, Jean Harlow, Humphrey Bogart, Mary Pickford, Errol Flynn, Spencer Tracy, George Burns & Gracie Allen, W.C. Fields, Sammy Davis Jr., Walt Disney, Nat King Cole, and Michael Jackson. Buried in Forest Lawn’s Hollywood Hills cemetery are Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Liberace, Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, Stan Laurel, Ricky Nelson, John Ritter, and Gene Autry. Some have modest headstones, others quite showy monuments. Prices for internments start at $825,000 for premium plots.
The Westwood Village Memorial Park occupies a small, rustic setting in Los Angeles where still more of the greatest names in Hollywood history lie in rest, including Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, Burt Lancaster, Rodney Dangerfield, Farrah Fawcett and Dean Martin. Burial plots are regularly traded on the open market. In 2009, a crypt just above Monroe’s crypt sold for $4,602,100 on eBay.
Here’s a relatively new take on burials. At the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, cryonics is used to freeze a body in perpetuity, or at least until the technology is developed to unfreeze and bring the deceased back to life. The cost of a long-term suspension is about $338,017, which includes the 100 years storage and membership fees.
Then there’s Celestial Burial, where cremated remains are shot into infinity and eternity – space! Gene Roddenberry, L. Gordon Cooper (Mercury astronaut) and Timothy Leary, are “buried” out in the heavens. The cost of a space burial? As high as $34,000,000! And that doesn’t include the urn.
Other top cemeteries with expensive plots include Houston's Glenwood Cemetery, Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas. There is almost certainly an expensive, exclusive cemetery in your area. Check out findagrave.com for expensive, beautiful cemeteries with elaborate monuments in your area.
Rome offers a 100% personalized monument for your family and your family alone. You are not ordering what thousands of other families have already ordered from a standard design template in an old catalogue. You choose all the elements that go into the monument. And you and your family’s input are the inspiration behind the design.
We don’t cut corners when it comes to materials. We get our high-grade granite from the top quarries in the United States and Canada - not poor quality granite from quarries overseas in places like China. So your elaborate monument will cost more, but it will last a lot longer!
We specialize in designing and creating artistically shaped elements that are elaborately etched, sculpted, and engraved in the stone by master stonecutters who have carried on the Rome tradition of fine stonework since Michael Dioguardi started the company in 1934. All carving and lettering is done in-house by Rome Monument's certified master carvers in the company’s 30,000-square-foot manufacturing space in Monaca, PA at the Rome Monument Works Artisan Center.
Our capabilities are only limited by the imagination.
If you find a good example of a high-priced monument that you would like built, you can add it “My Family's Favorite Designs”, share the design on social media, email the design to a family member, request a price estimate and much more. To schedule a meeting in a showroom to discuss a design, for prices or to order this type of memorial, call 724-770-0100 or click here to contact us.