If you wish to have a personalized memorial with extreme detail, nothing compares to the etchings on dark or black granite. Etchings are accomplished two different ways. Lasers and computers “etch” the surface by “exploding” the polished surface. The heat generated by the laser makes the stone expand and creates the image. The contrast of laser etched stone is enhanced with a “paint” that helps the image show when the stone is wet. Because laser etching is raised instead of recessed, however, the coloring has a tendency to fade with time. Hand etching is done with an engraving tool and a diamond bit that essentially creates small indentation in the stone, breaking the polish. The placement of thousands of these small craters create the image that is actually imbedded into the surface of the polished stone. Again, a colored stain is applied, leaving the color imbedded into the granite. Hand etching creates more contrast, but requires a talented artist to execute a beautiful memorial.