Awareness of Updated Product Information
Caskets vs. Coffins
While it is true that the basic function and purpose of both casket
and coffin are the same, the public’s perception is not entirely
accurate. There is, in fact a significant difference between the two,
and it is found in the containers’ design. A coffin, by definition,
is a case or receptacle for dead human remains which is anthropoid
in shape. By anthropoid, it is meant that the coffin shape resembles
a human being with six or eight sides.
A casket definition is: A rigid container which is designed for the
encasement of human remains and which is usually constructed of wood,
metal, or like material, and ornamented and lined with fabric according
to (FTC). Another definition is a case or receptacle in which human remains
are placed for protection, practical utility, and a suitable memory picture:
any box or container of one or more parts in which a dead human body
is placed prior to interment, entombment, or cremation which may or may
not be permanently interred, entombed, or cremated with the dead human
Values of caskets are based upon:
- materials used for construction
- production method
- styles of caskets
Types of Material Used In Construction
Metal caskets make up the majority of caskets sold in U.S.
- They are sold according to gauge
- 16, 18, 20 gauges caskets
- the lower the gauge the thicker the metal
- Stainless steel – an alloy of steel, carbon and chromium
- Two types 400 series or 300 series
- 300 series better quality
- Non-ferrous metals of copper and bronze
- Copper sold in 32 or 48
oz per square foot
- Bronze sold in 32 or 48 oz per square foot
So base upon quality of metal material used in casket construction the
48 oz bronze would have the most value and the 20 gauge steel casket
would have the least.
Wood Caskets come in three different types:
- Solid hardwood, which is made entirely from solid wood - usually
from the same species of tree.
Different species of wood have greater value than others. Walnut and
Mahogany would be considered a high value and popular would be of a lesser
- Wood Laminates
Wood veneers - Created by gluing a thin layer of wood of superior or
excellent grain to an inferior wood.
- Artificial laminates – made by uniting superimposed
layers of different materials, with the upper most layer made from
photo-reproduction representing a finish wood grain.
Wood by-products – would include composition board,
fiberboard and particle board
Fiberglass caskets are very lightweight, strong, and can be
given a wide variety of finishes, including paint, faux wood grain and
faux marble. Mostly, associated with infant caskets. There is a false
impression they represent an inferior quality compared with traditional
metal and wood caskets by funeral directors.