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How much should I pay for a cremation urn?

by Jerri Haaven, Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant

 Handcrafted ceramic cremation urn in minimalist style

Increasingly people recognize cremation as a respectful and affordable solution to end of life needs. And with all things considered, cremation and related costs don't break the bank. A wide variety of products are available to temporarily or permanently store cremation ashes.

The average median price in 2014 for a basic traditional funeral with viewing and burial is $7,181. This does not take into account cemetery, monument or marker costs, or other charges such as flowers and an obituary, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. The price includes $2,395 for a basic metal casket. Some caskets cost as much as $10,000. Cremation urns, on the other hand, range in price beginning at approximately $50 and go up from there.

Set a budget for a cremation urn

When asking how much you should pay for a cremation urn, consider asking instead how much you want to pay and can afford. Setting a budget ensures that you won’t be enticed to overspend. Options exist to spend from very little for a cremation urn up to several hundred dollars.

But consider this: An urn for ashes is only limited by your imagination. Some families have used their dad’s old tool box to store his ashes. Another family placed ashes in an urn of their choosing, and affixed a recording of their mom’s voice to it. When the lid was opened, you’d hear her say, “Well hello there!” Still others have suggested they want to have their ashes placed in a Tupperware container. In these situations, there was no cost to the family. The idiomatic choice brings with it a certain sense of humor.

What kind of cremation urn should I buy?

If you are looking for something a little more refined, there are many options available. With your budget in mind, the question becomes, “What do I want?” Cremation urn prices range considerably, as you'll see below. Your budget will assist in steering you to a comfortable, affordable choice.

Here are a few suggestions to spark your imagination.

Would a wooden box for burial or display be appropriate? Wooden urns range in price. A basic natural cherry urn costs approximately $110. Another wooden urn, such as the Moonlight Serenade walnut wooden cremation urn with wolf inlay, costs approximately $370. 

If a unique cremation urn is important to you, many handmade ceramic urns capture the essence of an individual. The Peace Entwining ceramic urn conveys a sense of earthy grace and beauty. Simplicity and joy are captured in the delicate Gentle Branches ceramic urn. Prices range from under $100 up to $800 for a handcrafted piece from a notable artist.

Keepsake mini-urns can be purchased for as little as $20. Other keepsakes cost between $100- $200. Popular keepsake urns are small urns that hold a portion of an individual’s ashes. Often ashes are distributed between family members, especially when they live out of state from one another and would like to keep a portion of the ashes at home. The affordable price of mini-urns provides the opportunity to purchase several.

Keepsake urns with specific pet designs make an excellent place to store a beloved pet’s ashes. Gone are the days of storing Fluffy’s ashes in a plastic box!

With so many options, it’s wise to make a list of the essential qualities you prefer in a cremation urn. Not only consider the price, but also the type of material that’s used: clay, ceramic, marble, wood, glass, metal, or stone. Each has unique characteristics suited for specific environments.

Simply put, doing your homework in advance helps in making a satisfactory choice. Shopping for Cremation Urns Online has great information on what to look for when buying online, as well as questions to ask of the merchant before you hand over your credit card.

Jerri Haaven is a freelance writer, and a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant. When caring for her dad, who suffered from dementia and COPD, Jerri struggled with the negative side effects of his illness. She developed positive outlets to express herself and recover from her loss. Today as a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and Celebrant, she uses her skills to help people who are in the midst of their own personal story of grief and loss.

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