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How to Choose Caskets

6/26/2013 11:07:45 AM | by Anonymous


Many people mistakenly call a coffin a casket even though the two are very different things. A coffin has six sides, tapered at the top two corners whereas a casket has four sides and is rectangular in shape. Nowadays caskets are more commonly used than coffins.


Generally, caskets can be divided into two categories – wood and metal. Wood caskets are becoming increasingly more used due to factors such as cost and environmental concern.


Wooden caskets can be divided into three main types.


Cloth-covered caskets are the most inexpensive types. They are typically made from plywood or presswood that is covered with a colored cloth.


Wood laminated coffins are slightly more expensive than plywood coffins. Laminated or polished hardwood strips are glued to a coffin made from plywood.


The most expensive type of wood coffin is the solid wood coffin which can be made from hardwood or softwood. The type of species of wood used affects the price and ‘feel’ that the casket gives.


Metal caskets are designed to keep out air and water to preserve the body inside. The more commonly used metals are steel and stainless steel and there are many varieties depending on the composition of the metal and thickness of the casket. Copper and bronze coffins are used because they are resistant to rust. Bronze is the most expensive metal to be used.


Individuals could also request to have special features on their caskets such as carvings or multiple sandings. The roundings and finishes on caskets can also change according to the workmanship and cost of the casket. Handles and other known as ‘fittings’ can also be placed on the outside of the casket. Some of these fittings can include things like crucifixes or doves.


The fabrics used in caskets also affect their overall value. The more expensive materials include velvet and can have detailed tailoring. Other types of fabric that can be used include crepe, which is not as expensive but still gives a sense of beauty.


There is also the option of the rental casket. This is the most cost-effective method as you would not have to pay a lot but still able to present a high-end casket to display the body. The remains are laid inside a heavy board container which will be taken off the casket when it is time for burial. This is also what sought after by those who are aiming for an eco-friendly funeral.


There are also new kinds of caskets developing, such as fiber-glass caskets and eco-friendly caskets made from materials like willow or banana leaf.


Styles of caskets can also depend on the culture and religion of the deceased. For example, some forms of Judaism require the casket to be plain, unadorned wooden box. In Islam, no casket is used. Certain types of caskets made from scented wood and decay-resistant wood are in high demand in China and Japan.


Different families have dissimilar notions about funeral. Most of us would certainly like to give the best especially to someone close to our heart. However, it is not wise to go into debt in order to buy an expensive casket that will only be used for funeral for a few days and will be left to rot once lowered on the earth. This is especially true for people who opt for cremation. It is also important to note that no matter what kind of casket is used, the body of the deceased will never be perfectly preserved.


For well-off families, they can indulge their beloved with a fancier coffin but it is still unreasonable to purchase the most expensive ones which are known to have been used by renowned celebrities and said amounting to US$36,000. The most expensive caskets are made from solid mahogany wood, with velvet cushioned interiors and have an adjustable headrest.

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