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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Cremation Urns

Cremation Urns Cost

How Much Do Cremation Urns Cost?

low costLow: $30-$250average costMedium: $300-$800high costHigh: $1,000-$5,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • A no-frills plastic or cardboard container to hold ashes is usually included in the cost of cremation. Often these containers are the correct size to fit in a columbarium (an assembly of niches designed to hold ashes, typically in a mausoleum in a cemetery or church). These containers are also sufficient to hold the ashes before a scattering. It's also possible to use a large vase, covered tin or other container previously owned by the deceased, instead of purchasing a commercially produced urn.
  • Prices start between $30 and $150 for urns of cast resin, wood veneer or similar materials, and can cost $100-$250 for more stylized containers made of ceramics, simple woods or metals such as pewter or stainless steel. For example, Costco[1] sells cremation urns for $50-$200.
  • Artistically crafted urns using wood, metal, precious stones or similar materials start between $300 and $800, but can cost $1,000-$5,000 or more depending on size, quality and whether it's a one-of-a-kind handcrafted piece.[2] sells carved wood urns for $680;[3] offers sculpted urns for $1,000-$2,500 or more; and sells a bronze full-size firefighter's helmet urn for $2,500.
  • Small "keepsake" urns are often used to keep a portion of ashes after a scattering, if more than one mourner wants to ashes as a remembrance, or to send ashes to mourners unable to attend the scattering or memorial service. Keepsake urns are usually only a few inches tall, and sometimes a small keepsake urn is kept inside a larger object, such as a candleholder or a music box. Prices for keepsakes start between $10 and $40 each, but can cost $50-$250 or more for cloisonn??, pewter, solid bronze or other high-quality materials.[4] sells a range of keepsakes for $13-$50, usually with a velvet-covered box to hold the tiny urn; and offers music box keepsakes for $60-$110 and hourglass urns for $240.
  • Another option is cremation jewelry, designed to hold a tiny amount of ash and to be worn as a ring, pin, pendant or other jewelry. Prices start around $25-$75 for simple metal cylinders or $80-$300 or more for cremation jewelry of glass, pewter, silver or gold, in shapes such as a heart or angel.[5] offers stainless steel pendants for $40-$70, and[6] offers pendants in sterling silver or 14K gold for $185-$265.
Related articles: Cremation, Spreading Ashes, Will, Funeral

What should be included:
  • A cremation urn needs to be large enough to hold all the ashes. The cremation process uses intense heat (around 1,400 to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) to reduce a dead body to ashes. Sometimes referred to as "cremains," the resulting ashes usually weigh between three to nine pounds. Urn capacity is measured in cubic inches, and a basic estimate is at least one cubic inch of space for every pound body weight before cremation, or at least 150 cubic inches or larger for a person who weighed 150 pounds. If unsure about the exact weight, it's best to select a larger urn.
Additional costs:
  • If the urn is to be buried, it either needs to be made of marble or metal (brass is not recommended for burial) or any type of cremation urn can be encased in an urn vault, which is structurally sound enough to hold up the weight of the soil plus any heavy machinery used in the cemetery, according to[7] . Prices for urn vaults range from $100-$900 or more, depending on size, materials and style. For example,[8] sells urn vaults for $290-$640.
Shopping for cremation urns:
  • Many people take comfort in selecting an urn that reflects the personality or interests of the deceased person. A funeral home, mortuary or crematory will have a selection of urns, but it is not necessary to buy one from them; the family is entitled to provide its own urn. And don't feel pressured to "trade up" to a more expensive urn if the basic container provided by the crematory will do.
  • Urns are available in all types of materials, sizes, styles and designs, and from a wide variety of sources that can range from big box stores such as Costco[9] to specialty retailers such as[10] to online discounters such[11] .
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