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Helpful Advice: Things to Consider When Buying a Cremation Urn

Things to Consider When Buying a Cremation Urn
To lose a dear one is never easy and can get even harder, when forced to make decisions pertaining to the cremation, type of urn to inter the ashes, and final service. Following are some things to consider before buying a cremation urn.
Rohini Mohan
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
Did You Know
... that 32 funeral urns dating back to 7000 BC were excavated from Jiahu? These belonged to an ancient Neolithic Yellow River settlement in China.
A cremation urn is not merely a vessel, it is that which contains the mortal remains of a beloved one who is no longer amidst us. The bereaved family will need to hold a memorial service for which the urn shall be the center of attention, and thus has to be given its utmost due respect.
Certain fundamental factors have to be kept in mind while buying a cremation urn. A hasty purchase can lead to unnecessary, and sometimes embarrassing situations, wherein the urn may spill, the lid may be loose, or not made to fit properly.
In case the urn is being ordered from an online store, the risks are manifold. So, more precautions need to be taken to ensure that the urn is just perfect, not lacking in any way, and most importantly undamaged. This article mentions few things to consider when buying a cremation urn that will help you secure the last remains of someone beloved.
Things to Remember When Selecting a Cremation Urn
Choose the Right Material
❖ In case you have decided to get the urn interred in a mausoleum or niche, you will need to inquire about any material specifications before you actually buy the urn.
❖ Some mausoleums will accept ceramic, metal, or glass urns, but will refuse wooden and plastic urns.
❖ There are some Green Cemeteries that accept only biodegradable urns. There are variants available which can be used for scattering the ashes on land and water.
Select the Appropriate Size
❖ The industry standard urn size for the average adult cremains is one cubic inch for every pound of body weight.
❖ Therefore, the inner space of an urn for an adult weighing 120 pounds would be 120 cubic inches. Accordingly, you will need to buy an urn that has cubic inches equivalent to the body weight of the deceased. However, if the cremains exceed this limit, the ashes will need to be placed in a companion urn or a larger urn will have to be made.
❖ You will also need to decide whether to retain some of the remains of the ash in a keepsake urn or not. Such urns are usually 1-35 cubic inches and can be customized as per your need.
❖ You may have to consider whether the ashes will need to be distributed among your family members or not. If so, the ashes can be given away in keepsake urns or jewelry.
Decide Upon the Placement
❖ In case you plan to place the urn in your garden, you do not want to end up with a frail urn that cannot withstand outdoor conditions. You neither want the urn to crack, rot, or oxidize beyond repair.
❖ The ideal choice of material for outdoor urns would be ceramic, marble, or thick glass, provided it is kept in a secure place and is unlikely to fall or shatter. Therefore, keep in mind the place where you intend to rest the urn and choose an appropriate material accordingly.
❖ On the other hand, if the urn is going to be placed in an urn burial vault at the cemetery itself, almost any material will fit the bill, because these vaults are designed to prevent moisture from entering and damaging its contents.
Decide Upon a Theme
❖ You will also need to look into the theme of the service and then select the design of the urn. The theme of the funeral ceremony as well as the urn would ideally revolve around the personality of the deceased.
❖ While searching in actual stores and online, you will come across urns that have been customized for people who loved sports, music, fine arts, or were veterans or religious individuals.
❖ You can even have the urn custom-designed to fit the preferences of the deceased.
Stay Within the Budget
❖ The most affordable urns are the ones made of biodegradable material, cold cast polymers, and cost between $30 to $500.
❖ The ones made of wood will cost anywhere between $30 to $1000 or more depending on the wood used, or if it has been custom-designed.
❖ Ceramic, steel, and bronze urns are popular choices, and usually cost less than $300.
❖ That being said, there are urns that are sold for $3000 as well because of the design, shape, material used, and artistry involved in making the urn.
❖ It is very easy to get swayed by more suitable designs, however, if you have cash constraints, stick to your plan and buy a humbler alternative.
Remember TSA Guidelines
❖ If you intend to carry the urn by air, you will need to abide by the guidelines of the Transport Security Administration (TSA).
❖ You will need to carry all the necessary documents pertaining to the cremation.
❖ Metal urns are not allowed because these appear opaque while going through X-ray screening.
❖ Ensure that you seek permission to take the urn as carry-on baggage so as to prevent it from getting lost or damaged.
If you intend to place the urn at home, go in for a sturdy and attractive design. Those who wish to keep the urn inconspicuous, may opt for placing the ashes in a keepsake or in an urn that seems like a showpiece.