Caskets

Almost all caskets are made from wood or metal.  


Wooden caskets are usually made from mahogany, walnut, cherry, oak, pecan, ash, pine, or poplar. Some are made from hardwoods and are usually labeled as such. Some caskets are made from a solid wood; this will be reflected in the casket description. New York state law requires that every casket have a paper or card displayed in it that tells its content, type of fabric lining, and the cost. Some caskets described as a specific wood, may be made from a hardwood and only have the veneer of the specified wood. Be sure to ask if it's solid or veneer, if that's important to you. For example, a solid cherry casket will differ from a cherry casket that is made from hardwoods and has a cherry veneer. The solid cherry casket will cost more naturally.   Also the cost of the casket depends on the species of the wood, just as furniture made from cherry will cost more than pine.


Orthodox caskets are available that are made entirely of wood, with no metal components. These are commonly made from pine, walnut, oak or mahogany and some are available unfinished.  


Metal caskets are usually made from steel, copper or bronze. Steel caskets are made from gauges of steel or stainless steel. In the gauges of steel, the number represents the thickness. Sixteen-gauge steel is 1/16th of an inch thick, making it thicker than 18- or 20-gauge steel. Copper and bronze caskets are gauged according to their weight per square foot - a casket described as being made 48-oz. bronze will be heavier than one of 32-oz. bronze.

Interiors in caskets are commonly made from crepe, linen, satin, or velvet and are color-coordinated to match the outside color.


Some caskets can be personalized. They may have interchangeable corners that feature a theme such as gardening, golf, or religious connotations. Another option is a choice of a custom panel in the casket lid when it's open. These are available in a variety of embroidered themes or can be custom made with a phrase, logo, insignia, or picture. These may have an additional cost and take an extra day or so for shipping to the funeral home.


BUYING A CASKET SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN THE FUNERAL HOME