Containing cremated remains
To meet the demand caused by public acceptance of cremation, there are an increasing number of choices in urns, both in form and material. Urns have been in use in some cultures since 3,000 BC. Today, you can buy urns in almost any shape and size imaginable, made of any of a number of durable materials, from wood to precious metals.
The designs of today's urns are becoming increasingly diverse and there are a lot of different forms to choose from. You can get urns that are weatherproof for outside display or you can have one custom-made to suit any décor. If there are a number of loved ones interested in retaining some of the deceased's ashes, you can get small urns that may even fashion as jewelry. Urns will vary widely in price, of course. Their cost depends on a number of variables including material, size and personalization. An urn can be purchased for as little as $35 US (or even cheaper, if you want to make your own urn).
Technically, you don't have to buy an urn, depending on whether or not you plan on scattering the cremated remains. Crematories can ship cremated remains in cardboard boxes. On the other hand, you can buy expensive vases in the range of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Napoleon's Waterloo Vase is one of the most expensive urns in the world. It weighs over 15 tons and is on display in the garden of Buckingham Palace.
Before you purchase an urn, you need to consider how it will be displayed and what material you want to it made from.
Uses and Materials
People will keep urns in a number of different ways. Urns are displayed:
- Inside, for example on a mantle or bookshelf or as an architectural detail
- As pendants or keepsakes
- Outside, for example as a garden ornament
Urns can be made of a fairly wide variety of materials, including:
- Wood, such as mahogany or maple
- Stone or marble
- Metals, such as brass, bronze or pewter
Purchasing an Urn
You can purchase urns locally, but there is also a wealth of choice available on the internet. You can have a look at any of a number of online galleries to get an idea of price ranges and the many styles and kinds of cremation urns available.