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David at Binghamton Johnson City Monument Company helped our family choose a memorial for our mother that was unassuming and beautiful. It was a perfect reflection of her gentle... Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your questions about our services and our stone.

Our family funeral director/home recently began advertising that they now “sell” monuments.  We are skeptical of this proposition and felt somewhat reluctant to purchase.


Today’s funeral directors/homes are facing increasingly high loss of revenue due to the high rate of the cremation services that many families now desire.  To combat this huge loss of revenue, the funeral director might try to sell monuments out of a catalog or a limited display.


The large majority of funeral homes that sell monuments outsource the production and design to actual monument companies. Knowing absolutely nothing about the design and production of monuments, the funeral director cannot really speak from the standpoint of knowing all the details involved in the selection and creation of a monument.  This lack of experience and knowledge does provide an injustice to the family seeking professional advice about monuments.


Bottom Line:


Funeral = funeral director.


Monument = Binghamton-Johnson City Monument Co., Inc. Est. 1895  

What about purchasing a monument from a cemetery?

A cemetery's main field of operation is to sell and maintain grave space. Cemeteries use a staff of "family counselors", a fancy name for salespeople, in an attempt to sell monuments/grave markers. 

Nearly all cemeteries, church and private, outsource 100% of the monument production work to established memorial manufactures.  


My family had just purchased cemetery lots from a local church cemetery.  When we bought our lots we where immediately told that we can in addition to our lots, also purchase a monument directly from the cemetery. I thought the primary responsibility of the cemetery was to manage the grounds and maintain burial records, not to design and create memorials.  In the past, we have always used a local monument company to take care of our families memorial needs.  How should one go about the selection of a memorial that is going to be place in Church Owned Cemetery?

From 1895 to Present, Binghamton-Johnson City Monuments has had the honor and privilege of serving generations of area families with quality handcrafted memorials. 

As of 2009 some local church run cemeteries began offering to sell monuments to families who are purchasing plots in their cemetery.

Binghamton-Johnson City Monument Company would like to advise families that they are UNDER NO OBLIGATION to purchase a monument from a cemetery that sells cemetery memorials.

Binghamton Johnson City Monuments is a family-owned, local business which offers a complete product line of cemetery memorials.

With all the adverisments in the yellow pages, and monument companies that sell memorials online, it can be very confusing for a family who is looking to purchase a cemetery memorial.  At first, our family was a bit overwelmed with how much cemetery memorials cost.  However, we did our homework and discovered that cemetery memorial art can differ greatly from one memorialist to another.It is now very clear to us after carefully studying the many available works of art, that the cost is justifiable, especially when you consider the different levels of quality, craftsmanship and memorials available. How can other families searching for a special memorial not be intimidated by price?

Some items we purchase out of necessity others we purchase because we want them. A monument is something you purchase because you love someone and you want to show your love for them with one final tribute. A monument is also the only purchase that we will ever make that will last forever on this Earth. It is one purchase that will never depreciate. Choose wisely and choose carefully when you are searching for a experienced memorialist.

Paying a little and getting alot? It can't be done!

It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse if you pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose little money. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because you accept the risks associated with paying a lower price.

If you plan on dealing with the lowest bidder...be sure to add something for the unseen risks. If you can do that, then you can pay for something better. Author Unknown

How much does the typical monument cost? 

The price of a cemetery memorial depends on the material and the quality of the material used.  Like diamonds, there are many different grades of granite available. Other elements will include the quanity of granite used and the craftsmenship that went into creating the memorial. A memorial can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

I have never had to purchase a cemetery monument, where do I begin?

This is a very good question.  We tell our families to take time and walk around the cemetery and examine the many different sizes, colors and shapes of monuments available. Pay close attention to the craftsmenship and quality of the carvings, etchings and lettering fonts available. Understand that your memorial requires careful thought and planning. We always recommend bringing a digital camera.

Does the Binghamton Johnson City Monument Company do door to door or telephone solicitation?

The Binghamton Johnson City Monument Company does not and has never gone door to door selling monuments and we will never cold call your residence with intentions of selling you a cemetery memorial.

My family lives out of town and we wish to purchase a memorial from a local retailer in the area in which the memorial is needed.  Is this possible?

No problem, with the advent of the fax and computer, many families find the out of town purchase of a memorial to be a pleasurable, stress free experience. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will exceed all your expectations as we carefully work to accomodate your family from the intial stages of design through completion of your memorial.

What are my payment options when purchasing a cemetery memorial?

We accept Cash, Check, Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

Does the Binghamton Johnson City Monument Company have the capabilities to do thier own in house sandcarving?

We take great pride in having the ability to create your story in stone at our on premise sand carving studio.  We are proud to be able to implement 21st century technology with old world craftsmenship.

How does price impact our decision?

The total cost of your cemetery memorial is determined by three variables: 1) Quantity of Granite used.  2) Finish and Craftsmanship incorporated into memorial.  3) Quality and type of granite selected.  Always consider the source, a monument company who reaches out numerous suppliers do NOT yield a better quality granite memorial. 

I heard stone from China is a cheap alternative to American granite.

Understand that any granite quarried outside the United States and bought here for manufacturing will cost far more to create than if it was quarried and manufactured in a third world country.

Why do some monument carvings cost more than others?

When purchasing a monument carefully consider the craftsmenship. Understands the types of carvings that are going to be incorporated into the monument you selected.  Different types of carvings yield different results in artistry, hence cost more than others to create.

Always demand that a full size drafting of your memorial be drawn up before any work is to begin.  This allows your family to see how large your carvings and lettering will be in proportion to the size of the memorial.

Aren't all monuments the same?

Compare, compare, compare!  We can’t stress this factor enough.  Keep in mind that the same size and color DOES NOT mean the same quality.  Like Diamonds that come from the earth, there are many different grades of granite.

I saw a memorial online that I'd like to purchase, is this a good idea?
Never purchase a monument from a brochure or online.  Go to the display location where you intend on purchasing your memorial.

What is Marble?

Marble is known as a metamorphic rock, meaning it was formed from one type of rock, limestone, into another type of rock known as Marble. Marble like granite was formed as a result of high temperatures and pressure. But unlike granite, marble lacks the strength and hardness characteristics. Although a soft mineral, marble is easy to carve and maintains a natural soft beauty while bringing to life human like features so often duplicated in statues. Famous works of art done in marble include many Washington D.C. Memorials, the Marble Arch in London, England and the ancient Greek sculpture Venus di Milo.

Much of the marble used in the production of cemetery memorials is domestically quarried out of Vermont, New York, Colorado and Georgia. However, we do on occasion have a family request that their memorial be composed of world famous Italian White Marble.

What is in my stone?

“Granites are formed of an aggregate of crystals which are molded together without any interspace between them or which enclosed one another. The Magnificent crystallinity of granite is a striking characteristic.”- Geology of Granite, E. Raguin, London, 1965 P. 3

Granite is composed primarily of 3 essential minerals:

  • Feldspar (50% or greater)
  • Quartz (25% to 40%)
  • Mica (3% to 10%)
  • The color, texture and strength are all determined according to the proportions of minerals present in the granite.

Warning Jet Black stone is NOT granite – it is gabbro a dark granular igneous rock composed essentially of labradorite and augite. Gabbro contains zero quartz, has high levels of iron content (rust will appear overtime if iron content is too high) and scratches more easily than granite.

What is Granite?

Granite and Marble are the oldest building materials of the Earth. Granite and Marble formed out of liquid magma millions of years ago when the molten rock found at the center of our planet began to cool and form one of the hardest, durable natural substances known to mankind. Overtime, natural occurrences in the Earth’s seismic activity caused great changes in the Earth’s crust, before long, massive veins of granite began to rise out of the Earth’s crust.

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