There are some beautiful new trends in memorialization for headstones.
We are just wondering about the stability and longevity?
Most have not been tried and tested long enough to know.
Laser etching and color laser etching are beautiful and life-like, but if there are hard-water problems or moss and lichen growth in your cemetery, you will not be satisfied for long! Laser etching is very shallow and must be done on black or very dark granite..
Laser etched designs are done with the use high tech laser etching CNC machines. Here a laser is used to arc or scratch the stone in a very precise manner. Chipping away the stone as the laser arc hits the surface. The down fall of this technology is that it is only skin deep and lends itself to degradation over a short period of time. This degradation is in the form of losing the details and the art appears to be faded in time. Unfortunately there is no way to restore this once it has gone away. I have found that some families have scratched the art away when trying to clean the stone with abrasive cleaners. The cost of laser etched designs are generally lesser expensive than traditional engraving due to the work required from start to finish.
Traditional sand blasted designs are beautiful and present themselves as a masterpiece when completed, although designs can be complex they are limited to the sand blast technology. The colors of granite is not an issue since the engraving is done deep cut then filled in with a contrasting white or black or colored lithchrome rock dye.
Porcelain, color photos have been around for many years. They hold up very well as long as they are not broken. A new trend is for very large porcelain panels to be attached to granite as the whole headstone. Although they are beautiful, and very detailed, if a rock is thrown from the lawnmower or someone vandalizes the cemetery, the whole headstone can be lost.
It is our opinion, along with many other monument-makers that deep-carved granite is the most long lasting and has been tested by time!