When using stone as an exterior accents, there are three typical variations of the finish. When the stone is broken with chisels and creates a rough texture it is called a “rock finish.” If the stone is sawn and ground smooth it is called a “sawn" or "steeled" finish. When the stone is ground with finer and finer grit it obtains the “polished finish.” Polishing the stone enhances the color as it “closes” the grain of the stone and creates a mirror-like shine.
Monuments can be created using the different textures to their artistic advantage. The advantage of a polished surface is that it tends to self-clean, as there is no texture for dirt and debris to cling to, but the extra costs of polishing can add to the price of the monument considerably.