When choosing your own casket for a pre-arrangement or a casket for your loved one, there are some items to consider. First, the word casket comes from the French word “casse,” or jewel box. It was something people placed valuables in. It is the last setting in which you or your loved one will be viewed. So something personal to you or your loved one would be one thing to consider. Another factor to consider is cost. Caskets vary greatly in their cost due to the material they are made of and the amount of workmanship it took to complete the final product.
There are two major divisions in caskets. There are caskets made of woods and caskets made of metals. Each of these have several sub categories. Let’s look at wood caskets first. These are my favorite because there is a warm and familiar feel to them. I love wood furniture and enjoy the beauty it brings to my home. There are 2 divisions of woods. There are the hardwoods, which include Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Mahogany, Oak, Poplar and Birch. These are stronger woods with a more distinct grain pattern. There are also softwoods: Pine, Spruce and Cedar. Some caskets may also have a laminate finish, which we refer to as veneer, where a nice finish is placed on the outer layer of less expensive wood.
Metal caskets can be made of carbon steel, stainless steel or precious or semi-precious metals. Carbon steel is normally what we call steel. It is iron and carbon based. Steel is measured in gauges. The gauge tells you how thick the metal is. For instance, in an 18 gauge steel casket the thickness of the steel is 1/18th of an inch where a 20 gauge steel is 1/20th of an inch. The 18 gauge is a thicker steel and of better quality. An advantage to carbon metal caskets is they can be painted in any color of choice to make it more personal. The carbon steel are usually more affordable because less manual labor work is done. Most of the work is done by robotics. Stainless steel we know is used in medical equipment, and is a finer quality of steel than regular steel. It contains chromium and will be more expensive, but offers more protection. The most expensive caskets are the copper and bronze caskets due to the value of the metal used to make them. As we know, there are statues that are hundreds of years old made of bronze and copper, and although the metal has turned green, the statue is persevered. This helps you know that these caskets will also be able to stand against the elements for a long, long time and protect your loved one.
Another factor in choosing a casket is the interior. The most affordable interiors are made of crepe, and they come in a variety of qualities. The more expense interiors are made of the velvet or chiffon.
There are many ways to personalize as well. There are embroidered or silk screened casket panels, which can be made from any level of personalization, even to the digitalization of a personal photograph. Some caskets have medallions or personalized corners. It all depends on what you want.
The most important point is that you feel good about the selection you have made, and it is in a price range that works for you.
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American Fork Chapel
49 East 100 North
American Fork, UT 84003
Lone Peak Chapel
6141 West 11000 North
Highland, UT 84003