Symbolism & Optional Extras

If you visit a cemetery, you’ll see a wide array of symbols and images engraved on headstones and memorials. They range from religious and philosophical through to representing interests and passions of the loved one, such as musical instruments, cars, and sports team insignia. 

Traditional imagery such as hearts, roses, angels and animals often have specific meanings associated with them:

Angels: The guardianship of someone’s soul

Weeping angels: Sorrow at the person’s death

A candle: The light of God or the person’s soul

Cherubs: Traditionally on childrens’ graves

A circle: Eternal life (this is sometimes shown as a snake swallowing its own tail)

A dove: Peace and freedom

A lamb: A symbol of God, often on the graves of children

A flaming torch: Eternal life

Clasped hands:: A promise of reunion in heaven

A tree: Longevity, a family figurehead

Wheat: The person had a long and fruitful life

A teddy bear: Comfort for a child or baby

In the past, many graves included skulls, scythes, skeletons or hourglasses. These symbols typically represented mortality and the fleetingness of life. However, these symbols have become less common in modern times.


The heart, representing love, is a common symbol we use in memorials, both in the shape and carved into the stone. View Gallery


Many of our memorials incorporate a cross, either in the shape of the memorial, or carved into the stone. View Gallery


Some families choose to reflect their Celtic roots in the design of their gravestone. View Gallery

Animals and Native Birds

We are often asked to portray animals and native birds on gravestones. View Gallery


Vases can be included in most memorial designs. We can do a single vase on one side of a base, or include a vase on either side.  View Gallery

Cars and Motorbikes

Many families choose a memorial that reflects their loved one's passion in life. View Gallery

Koru and Twist

The Pikorua or single twist shape represents the eternal emerging paths in life. The figure-eight form symbolizes the bond between two people, their loyalty and love. This shape reflects the natural ebbs and flows that occur in a relationship, but the two people will always find their way back to each other. View Gallery


While traditionally religious icons, angels represent a lot even to people who have no religious belief. Angels have been depicted in art for thousands of years, longer than Christianity has existed. Despite their otherworldly nature, traditionally they are portrayed today as quite humanistic and having large wings, halos and very peaceful, protective stances. View Gallery