Granite Colors

If you have researched granite monuments at all online, you will know by now that there is a huge variety of granite colors. It is important to remember that granite is a product of nature. It is not possible to guarantee that all color markings, nor that every characteristic of the pieces will be uniformly present in every piece of granite, even of similar type and variety. Granite is available in colors ranging from the lightest gray to the blackest black, and every color in between.

One of the most important things to ask yourself when deciding upon which color granite you should order your monument in is: Do I want sandblast or laser etch my design?

The reason this is the most important thing to consider is because not every color can be laser etched and not every design can be sandblasted. If you do not know the difference between sandblasting and laser etching, please refer to our previous blog here:

Basically, if you want a design that is extremely detailed, such as a picture of a person or an object, you would need to go with a color of granite which can be laser etched. For images with the most detail, such as a picture of a person, the darkest black granite would need to be used. Therefore, you would need to go with Jet Black or India Black. These two colors of granite have the least amount of color variations throughout the stone, as they are typically one uniform color: the darkest black.


When you begin to get into lighter black granite, such as Midnight Black and Frosty Black, the color variations begin to become more frequent and much larger, as you can see from the images below. If an image of a person’s face were to be etched upon a piece of Midnight or Frosty Black granite, these color variations would cause the image to start becoming blurry. Instead of the sharp, clear image you see in the Jet and India Black, it is difficult to make out the small details on these colors of black granite. Although not recommended, it is possible to etch detailed images on Midnight and Frosty Black granite. Prior to doing so, it is important that our clients understand that the image may not be as clear as it would on the Jet or India Black. Images which are not extremely detailed, such as a picture of a nature scene or of a car can be etched on the lighter black granite and will turn out beautifully.



When you start to get into the colored granite, such as the Blue Pearl, whether or not a design can be etched varies. It not only depends upon the type of image, but also upon the color of the granite.


A monument which is of a darker color, such as a Forest Green, can often still be used to etch some of the lesser detailed images. Something along the lines of a landscape can be etched on these darker colors. However, etching a picture of a person is never recommended when it comes to granite which is any color other than the darker blacks.


The lighter the color of the granite becomes the less likely a laser etched image will work. Once you get to the light grays, pinks and white, we will always recommend that the design be sandblasted only. This even applies to lettering, which can typically still be etched on the lighter reds, blues and greens, as a laser etched lettering on the lightest colors is not going to be visible at all from a distance.



If you would like a monument in a color which cannot be laser etched, but you would still like to include a picture in the design, there is a way for you to get the best of both worlds! We can include either a laser etched Marble Portrait, or a colored Porcelain Portrait in the design. A laser etched Marble Portrait will be done in black and white and the Porcelain Portrait can be done in either color or black and white. There are a variety of shapes and sizes available in both the Marble and the Porcelain Portraits. We have designed monuments where a client has included a large Marble Portrait which covered the entire back of a white granite monument in order to add a photo collage, while still being able to choose the granite she loved so much!



Do Previews Really Matter?

Typically, when a client works with a monument company to purchase a memorial for a loved one, they are presented with thousands upon thousands of design options to choose from. Once they have decided upon the exact designs they would like included on the monument, the sales person will create a sketch of the layout for the client to approve.

While this allows the client to have an idea of what the completed monument will look like, it doesn’t allow them to see exactly how the fonts and the designs are going to look together. When only the sketch is provided for the client to approve, there is the the risk that they will not be happy with the completed monument. And, once the granite has been sandblasted or laser etched, there is no way to remove the design and lettering.

So, instead of risking disappointing our clients, we have gone the extra step to begin creating previews that appear as close as possible to how the completed monument will look. Typically, a picture of the actual monument that is being purchased is used to create the preview, allowing the clients to see exactly how the lettering and designs will appear on the exact stone they have purchased. By creating a preview which shows the exact designs and layout, we can quickly and easily make even the smallest adjustments: whether it is moving the placement of lettering or a design by just a few inches, changing the font, replacing a design, etc. Our previews ensure that our clients are 100% satisfied with the completed monument.

In order to understand how exactly the preview allows our client to ensure they are satisfied with the layout, take a look at the below examples of a preview provided to our client for approval.  A photo of the actual completed monument is beneath it.

Preview Approval Form

Bouknight Updated Fianl Preview Approval Form

Photo of Completed Marker

BOUKNIGHT Completed Stone Image


Mike, the owner here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials began going the extra mile a few years ago to be sure that what we showed our clients at the time of purchase was what their monument would actually look like when the went to visit it for the first time in the cemetery. One of the biggest steps was sending both Heather & Sara to school in order to obtain their Graphic Design certificate and/or degree. Anyone who has followed our work over the past  years has noticed the gradual increase in quality as Heather, and then Sara, mastered the art of Graphic Design and began to learn how to apply their skills to memorial monuments.

All of this being said, YES, our Previews DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

We believe our Previews  allow us to give our clients EXACTLY what it is they want. What better way to create the monument they were envisioning than to be able to create a completely customized design using a variety of pictures, images and designs?


When looking to purchase a monument, it is important to know the definition of several words that will be thrown around by the monument dealer. Of course, you could always ask the dealer to explain exactly what he is referring to when he says something you don’t understand. However, purchasing a monument can be like purchasing a car in that the more you appear to know about the product, the more likely the dealer will be to negotiate prices with you. So, before you call or visit a monument dealer, review the definitions below! If you would like to view images and examples of each of the definitions, feel free to visit our website:

Angel Headstone: An upright monument that is either carved into the shape of an angel, or hand etched with an image of an angel.

Apex Top: The top of the die sloping upwards to a point from all four sides.

Base: Granite stone that forms part of a monument. The base sits on top of the foundation and supports the DIE.

Bevel: A slanting top or edge at a 45° angle.

Bevel Marker: Bevel Markers (also referred to as slant markers, hickey markers, or pillow markers) are designed to sit above the ground when installed. They are slanted from the back to the front to allow water to run off the marker and help them stay cleaner than a flush marker.

Bronze Marker: A memorial which is cast out of bronze. Bronze markers are mounted to granite or cement bases.

Columbarium: A building or structure constructed within a cemetery to hold cremated remains within Niches.

Companion Upright: A companion upright is usually used for a double plot and consists of 2 pieces. Sizes vary. These are also referred to as companion monuments, companion headstones, companion tombstones, companion memorials, double headstones, double tombstones, etc.

Die: The granite stone that forms part of a monument, and is installed on a base. Usually this is where names dates, etc are listed on the headstone.

Family Lot / Plot: A lot that consists of two or more adjoining graves, the burial privileges for each individual lot are all held by the same owner.

Flush Marker: Granite markers that lay flat with the ground. They are generally 24″ x 12″ but can be larger or smaller depending upon individual cemetery or memorial park requirements. Usually 4″ in thickness, different thicknesses do exist and are suitable so long as they fall within the cemetery’s regulations. Flush markers are also referred to as flat markers, grave markers, burial markers, and footstones.

Foundation / Footer: The concrete footing on which a monument is erected, designed to support the monument. Many cemeteries prefer to set the footer themselves, rather than allowing the monument company to set it. The monument may not be installed until the footer is set and stable.

Frost: To lightly remove polished surface of granite by sandblasting.

Government Marker / Veteran’s Marker: A flat marker supplied by the U.S. government for the grave of a veteran.

Hand Etching: An etching tool with a diamond tip is used to “scratch” the polished surface of the monument. Because this is done by hand, it is not possible to create an image that is the exact duplicate of a picture, as a hand etching cannot be as detailed as a laser etching.

Laser Etching: The design which is to be etched onto the monument is loaded into the laser, which will be used rather than a diamond tipped hand tool. Once this is finished, the laser hits the granite with a 8000 degree beam of light in a burst lasting approximately one ten thousandth of a second. The heat of the beam explodes a dot on the surface of the monument, permanently removing the polished surface of the granite. With the size of this dot being so small, an extremely detailed photographed can be duplicated exactly onto the monument using the laser.

Ledgers: Memorials that cover an entire grave. Although they are low to the ground, their size allows for extensive decoration and long inscriptions. Mike’s Laser Etching offers ledgers by special order only.

Lot / Lots: One or more adjoining graves, crypts, or niches.

Mausoleum: A private mausoleum is a granite building with stained glass windows and a bronze door. There are also smaller versions available without doors or windows. Mike’s Laser Etching offers mausoleums by special order only.

Memorial Bench: Granite memorial benches serve as enduring memorials dedicating a park or other suitable location. They can also be used as cemetery memorials. Granite benches are growing in popularity, as they are functional and beautiful.

Monument: A memorial that is a flat marker, slant marker, an upright, or a bench.

Niche: A space or spaces within a columbarium used, or intended to be used, for the above ground inurnment of cremated remains.

Polished Margin: A polished area which is approximately 1” in height, that surrounds a base on all four sides.

Polish Number: Referring to number of sides on a DIE that have been polished to a mirrored glass.

  • Polish 1: Front of die polished, back sawn out, sides & top rock pitched.
  • Polish 2: Front & back of die polished, sides & top rock pitched.
  • Polish 3: Front, back, & top of die polished, sides rock pitched.
  • Polish 5: All polished die.

Rock Pitch / Rock Face: Way of breaking so the edge of granite has bold projections and depressions, creates a straight line with an irregular facing.

Sandblasting: A flat sheet of rubber (a mat) is placed on the granite and the design is then cut out of the rubber. Many companies who own a laser etcher will use the laser to cut out the design on the mat. If they have no access to a laser, this must be done by hand. Fine particles of abrasive are then blown by air pressure against the monument. This abrasive cuts away the granite not protected by the rubber mat. The rubber is then removed, leaving behind a beautiful design on the monument. Finishing touches are then done by hand.

Sawn: Granite cut with a saw, straight medium to smoothish surface with duller ink color than the polished surface.

Serpentine Top: A reverse curved surface.

Single Upright: Upright headstones are the most common type of cemetery memorial used today. A single upright is usually used for a single plot and consists of 2 pieces. The top piece is much larger and is called a “die.” The die is typically 24″ tall x 8″ thick x 20″ wide but can be custom made at any size. The bottom piece is known as a “base” and is typically 6″ tall x 12″ thick x 32″ wide. These are also referred to as single tombstones, single headstones, single memorials, single monuments, and single upright grave markers.

Slants: Slants typically stand 16″ to 18″ in height with the front slanting or sloping back at a 45 degree angle. These are also referred to as slant headstones, slant gravestones, and slant tombstones.

Upright Monument: A monument that consists of a base and an upright die.

Granite Colors

Posted: July 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Although people typically think of Gray or Black when they picture a monument, there are actually an extremely large variety of Granite Colors available. Below are just some of the granite colors offered by Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials.

India Black Granite


Midnight Black Granite


Frosty Black Granite


Blue Pearl Granite


Bahama Blue Granite


Imperial Pink Granite


White Pearl Granite


Barre VT Gray Granite


Standard Gray Granite


India Red Granite


India Aurora Granite


Maple Red Granite


Forest Green Granite


Tropical Green Granite


Spring Valley Granite


Emerald Pearl Granite


To find out about a color not included here, please contact us at 877-836-0332 or We offer Custom Designed monuments in any color granite the client chooses, including, but not limited to the granite colors listed above.

Do you have a large family, who are all interested in being a part of the design process? Are you home bound, unable to come to one of our offices and are uncomfortable ordering your monument via email and the telephone? We have exciting news for you!

Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials is now offering FREE IN HOME CONSULTATIONS!

If you live in the Maryland/Delaware/Pennsylvania area and are interested in an In Home Consultation, give us a call today at 877-836-0332, or email us at for additional information or to schedule your in home appointment today!

When someone discovers that they have the freedom to include almost anything they choose to on the monument they are purchasing for a loved one, they can frequently develop “designers block”. When you are trying to design the monument which will be placed on a loved one’s final resting place, it can be difficult to decide exactly what should be included. Although there are often some limitations set by the cemetery, a monument is basically a blank slate and nearly anything you can think up, can be placed on it.

Traditionally, monuments have included the deceased person’s full name. Some families choose to include a woman’s maiden name in addition to her married name. The date of birth and the date of passing is also typically included on a monument. Some families choose to include only the year of birth and the year of passing. However, it has become more common for the month, day and year of both dates to be included. Apart from the small flowers or religious symbols which are often included, the traditional monument design includes only this information: the name, date of birth and date of passing.

Thanks to the technology we now have available to us, we are able to offer a much broader range of designs to our clients. With this, you can now design a much more personalized monument. A monument can truly reflect who a person was by showing some of their personality. Future generations will be able to learn a little more about their ancestors, rather than the traditional name, date of birth and date of passing.

When it comes to names, we have clients who have chosen to write out the full name. For example: John William Smith, Jr. Of course, you can always abbreviate the middle name. So, John W. Smith, Jr. There is also the option of including a nickname. Rather than only including the legal name, a nickname can follow it in quotations. For example: John William Smith, Jr. “Smitty”. This is just one of the ways that you can make a monument a little more personalized.

There are also several options for how to include the dates. They can be included using any of date formation you choose. For example: 12/6/1987 December 6, 1987 Dec. 6, 1987 6th of June 1987. Some clients choose to label what each of the dates are. One very popular example is to label the date of birth “Sunrise” and the date of passing “Sunset”. Labeling the dates adds a little more personalization. This would appear on the monument as:

John William Smith, Jr.

Sunrise 6/6/1987 Sunset 12/8/1995

If you have walked through a cemetery recently in which there are newer burials, you will notice that it is becoming very popular to include a picture on a monument. There are several different ways to do so, though the options available to you are dependant upon the type of monument and the color of granite you’ve chosen. To learb more about your options for pictures, please refer to our blog: What Are My Options For Including Pictures On My Monument? *Include Link* Though there may be limitations as to what type of images can be included and how they are included, unless there are limitations and restrictions in place by the cemetery, a picture can be added to any monument. There is no better way to personalize a monument than with a picture of the deceased.

There is also the option of adding an epitaph or an entire poem. Is there a saying that the deceased would say all the time? Something that reminds everyone of them? Did they really like a particular poem or writer? If so, is there a particular piece of writing that really reflects who they were in life? Adding any of these things can make the monument their own. A great example of this is Kim Zolciak, who is always saying “Ask, Believe, Receive”. Adding this to her monument would make it her own.

We have a large variety of designs which can be added to monuments. Although the designs for sandblasting are limited, if you are purchasing a monument which can be laser etched, we can do anything you can dream up.

For more information on the difference between laser etching and sandblasting, see our blog:

For more information on choosing the color of granite that your monument should be, see our blog:

Give us a call at 877-836-0332 or send us an email at to get started on your order today!

Mike’s Laser Etching & Sartin Memorials provides the highest quality monument memorials for the lowest possible pricing. This is possible because we work directly with the stone manufacturers in Europe and Asia to ship their products to our shop in St. George’s, Delaware. By doing this, we are able to pass on the discount we receive by ordering wholesale to our customers. Most other monument and memorial dealers in the United States do not order directly from the manufacturers, but instead order from a local wholesaler who has ordered from the manufacturer. This “middle man” of course charges the fee to the local retail monument dealers who order from them, thus causing a tremendous increase in the price the retail dealer is paying for the stone. This increase is then passed on to their customer, causing the customer to pay as much as 75% more than what the original wholesale company paid the manufacturer.

In addition to the ability to receive a much lower price, there are several other benefits our customers receive from Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials ordering directly from the manufacturer. If a customer is unable to locate the exact memorial they would like to display at their loved one’s resting place in our extensive inventory, we are able to order a custom monument directly from the manufacturer! We are able to provide our clients a custom monument design taken from a picture, a drawing, a graphic design, etc. Some of our most amazing custom monuments have been a dragon and a butterfly. Look on the “Inventory” and then the “Custom” page for pictures of the finished monument!

Here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, we are also able to provide our customers with the most up to date monument designs much sooner than the retail dealers who must wait for their wholesale buyers to purchase a crate full of these new designs. Our owner orders a crate full of a variety of both new, traditional and custom monuments rather than ordering a crate full of only one type of monument, as most wholesale buyers do. When the newest cremation benches were being designed, Mike’s Laser Etching was one of the first companies in the United States to have them in stock to offer to customers. We are proud to be able to offer the customer service of a retail dealer with the services and inventory of a wholesale buyer.

We are so confident in our prices, that we offer a Lowest Price Guarantee! If you receive a lower quote from a competitor, we’ll beat their price on any identical in stock headstone or send you a free porcelain photo (valued at over $200). The porcelain photo can either be added to an existing headstone or displayed in the home! Its your choice!

There is a large variety of designs which can be laser etched or sandblasted onto your monument. The type of design you can use depends on the type of monument you have chosen. To find out which method must be used on your monument, please read the following blog:

To review our Sandblasting Designs, please click the following link, which will take you to the Sandblasting Designs page of our website.

To review our Laser Etched Designs, please click the following link, which will take you to the Laser Etched Designs page of our website.

Please keep in mind that all monuments which can be laser etched, can also be sandblasted. You are only limited when your monument requires only sandblasting.

If you have any questions regarding designing your monument, or to get started placing your order today, please call us at 877-836-0332 or send us an email at

Here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, approximately 75% of our total business is Online Sales. Although initially our sales were solely local, several years ago, our company as a whole decided that we wanted to offer our products, and the savings that come along with working with a Direct Granite Importer, which MLE/Sartin Memorials is. Typically, Monument Dealers in the United States, do not purchase their products directly from the quarries and manufacturers, causing the overall cost to increase, which then causes you, the consumer, to end up paying more. With MLE/Sartin Memorials being a Direct Granite Importer, we are able to offer a drastically lower end cost to our clients. Along with the savings, we are able to offer a higher quality product due to the employment of our Certified Graphic Artist, Sara and Heather. From the research we have done, we have found that we are one of only a handful of Monument Builders and/or Dealers in the United States who employ Graphic Artists. This allows us to create custom monuments, as well as custom designs to be placed on the monuments, in house. This allow us to provide the highest quality product, while also ensuring that the cost does not sky rocket simply because the client would like a custom monument or design.

Although so much of our business is online, we do still find that some clients are hesitant to order a monument online. Even those who purchase just about everything else online are often weary of ordering a monument from an online company. In order to reassure our potential clients, we have taken the following steps:

-Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials is accredited through the Better Business Bureau and currently holds an A+ rating. You can view more information about our BBB rating at:

-Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials is a certified member of Monument Builders of North America. To learn more about MBNA and what it means to be a member, visit:

-Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials offers a Lifetime Warranty, (which can be reviewed at:, on all of our products and fully insures every monument shipment. To learn more about what to do when your monument is being delivered, visit our blog:

-Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials requires that a Preview Approval Form be reviewed and signed by the client prior to processing any designs on the monument. Our Previews are created using a software which allows us to show our clients almost exactly what the completed monument will look like. (You can learn more about our Previews here: The Preview Approval Form ensures that our clients are happy with the final layout and design of the monument, as well as double checking that the spellings of names and the dates are correct.

We understand that purchasing an item online that costs more than just a book or a pair of shoes, but is also extremely important to you and your family, may not have initially occurred to you. However, if you want to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality monument, without having to pay outrageous amounts of money, working with Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials is the way to go. We always go above and beyond to ensure that our clients are more than satisfied with their loved one’s Memorial Monument and would be honored to work with you and your family to create a beautiful and unique memorial monument.

For more information or to begin an order, please contact Sara Jordan at or Heather Rice at You can also call our toll free number at 877-836-0332.


In today’s world, you can purchase just about everything online. No more trips to the crowded malls or waiting in lines, just to find that the store has run out of stock of the particular item you are looking for. Instead, its as easy as a few clicks to find the item you want, enter your payment information and schedule delivery. You can even buy groceries online now. I can only imagine how much easier it would have made my life when I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building, with a newborn. I dreaded hauling those groceries up the steps and would have to carry the baby on each trip if no one was home to watch him while I ran down for another armful of bags.

That’s what its all about, isn’t it? Convenience. Although some may instead call it laziness.

While I do understand why some would shake their heads at people purchasing every little thing online, there are certainly items that it makes much more sense. A Memorial Monument, also known as a Headstone or Tombstone, is one of these items.

As with anything else not manufactured locally, there are several channels that items must go through in order to get to you, the consumer. Just think about any item at your local Walmart. Do you think that Walmart purchases their products directly from the very person who manufactures it? Certainly not. They are much too large of a company, and need way too much product to purchase each item directly where it is manufactured.

Instead, there are companies that Walmart works with you purchase these items for them. There can be up to 5 “middle men” which the product passes through before it gets to the shelves of Walmart for you to purchase. Of course, these “middle men” do not work for free and must make a living as well. Thus, the result is a steady increase in the cost, as each “middle man” adds their fee to the overall cost of the product.

In the United States Monument Business, it works the same way. This the reason that here at Mike’s Laser Etching, we have built relationships with quarries all over the world during the 50 years we have been in this business. Rather than contacting a local distributor of granite, we work with the actual people who quarry and cut the granite specific to their local area. At this point in time, we work with over 20 quarries, which are spread out on nearly every continent.

While this certainly takes time and effort to create and maintain these relationships, we see it as our duty, as it allows us to provide not only the highest quality granite to our clients, but at the lowest cost. With the “middle men” cut out, we pay the lowest price possible, and are thus able to pass these savings on to our clients. In addition to the high quality and savings, this also means that we are able to order custom designed monuments for our clients. Whether it is a Life Sized Guitar Monument, or a monument based off of a child’s favorite toy, such as our Dragon Monument, we can do anything and everything a client can dream up.

If you were to compare the services and prices offered by Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials, with a local Monument Dealer, you will likely find several things. Some of the things we have noticed are:

-Local dealers only offered limited items and can only offer items they have “In Stock”
-They charge an additional fee for every letter or design placed on the monument
-Their “turn around” time is up to 6 times as long as MLE/Sartin Memorials
-Their prices are between 2 & 3 times as much as MLE/Sartin Memorials
-The finished product is a lower quality granite and design

For more information on each of these areas, keep an eye out for our next blog, “What Make’s Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials Special?”

Although we did originally begin working only with local clients, as our business began to grow and clients began to refer us to friends and family across the United States, we set up an Online Sales Team. Pricing is the same as if you were to purchase a monument from us locally, as shipping and handling are included in the cost. The turn around time is the same as if you were purchasing the monument locally, as we process orders in the order they are received. And, our Certified Graphic Artists will work with clients online to ensure that they are able to design the monument just as they would if they were sitting in our office.

Why would you not want to order your monument online just to ensure you are getting exactly what your loved one deserves, at a fair and affordable price?

For more information, contact our Graphic Artists: Sara Jordan at or Heather Rice at Or, give us a call at 877-836-0332.