Posts Tagged ‘urn quality’


Quality Varies in Cremation Urns

December 31, 2009

Savvy consumers strive to find quality products at competitive prices. To achieve this, many will employ the Internet to research products and seek out vendors from both traditional brick-and-mortar outlets and e-commerce alternatives. For cremation urns – as with any product – there are vast differences when it comes to product quality. With the many manufacturers that produce funeral urns being located all over the world, including India, China, and Turkey, the quality spectrum is even greater. Fortunately, individuals considering the purchase of cremation urns have the luxury of time when evaluating the multitude of products available to them.

The wary consumer should exercise care when evaluating products based on their photos when purchasing online. Because of their low resolution, web images can hide flaws. What may be insignificant flaws in finish or manufacture can often be masked by the limited resolution of the photos. Even without intention to be misleading by an online retailer, low resolution product photos still present a challenge to the consumer. To safeguard yourself make certain that the e-commerce vendor from whom you’re considering making a purchase provides the option to view enlarged photos of their products.

Something the online consumer cannot gauge from product photos – no matter how good – is the materials used in their manufacture. This is especially true for the cube-style or “cubic” cremation urns. There are various methods of manufacture, including fabrication (where the units are actually handmade and then finished) and casting. For the fabricated urns, one of the more significant variables is the thickness of the metal used. Urns made from metal that is .030″ thick is common. Urns of this thickness are very light and susceptible to waves formed during welding or brazing of the urn walls. Urns which are polished will exhibit this problem more predominantly than urns which are brushed for final finishing. Thinner walled urns also are vulnerable to dents during shipping. The thickness of fabricated urns are available in heavier gauges, as well, including .100″, which is over three times the thickness of the .030″ units. Since the thickness of the metal used in the urn is not usually provided in the product description, the consumer should look to the product’s weight to compare. As a general rule, the thicker the material, the heavier the unit. The product’s weight is a good indicator of the thickness of the metal used. In general, for equivalently sized urns, the heavier the urn, the thicker the material used during manufacture.

Design specifications and adherence to them during manufacture play a crucial role in a product’s overall quality. Again, this can be difficult to discern from a product photo. Since many fabricated urns (cube style) are handcrafted, adherence to specifications can vary considerably among the various manufacturers. Things to watch out for include the manufacturer’s care in adhering the baseplate mouting brackets. If the brackets are not mounted evenly at the specified points, the baseplate will be uneven and potentially cause the urn to sit lopsided when placed on a flat surface. Other factors of concern include the cut and bonding of the urn sides.

Consumers should pay special attention to the finish of the urn. As stated earlier, low-resolution product photos on the web can mask many of the flaws that can otherwise be readily seen in person. Watch out for poor quality lacquer coatings, which protect the urn from discoloration while providing an attractive finish. The consumer should also be aware that the color of finish of an urn (bronze, brass, stainless steel, etc.) may not be indicative of the material used to create the product. Instead, the urn may simply be plated. Though this is not necessarily an issue of concern, the consumer should still be aware of how the urn is manufactured. When evaluating plated products, pay close attention to the uniformity of the finish. If the plating is inadequate, the density of the finish color will vary. That, however, may not be readily apparent in a product photo.

When choosing the cremation option, the consumer has the added benefit of time. Take advantage of the time availed to you by researching both the vendors and their products prior to making a purchase.