Typically, when you think of purchasing a monument for your loved one, I’m sure you would picture making an appointment and driving to a local sales lot. Traditionally, this is how most monument dealers present their products to a client. While Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials does still offer this type of monument sales, we also offer two other sales options which have not only allowed us to work with clients from all over the United States, including as far away as Hawaii and Alaska, but have also allowed us to work with clients who prefer not to or unable to come in person to a sales lot. It is our goal here at Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials to ensure that our clients are able to purchase and design a unique and beautiful monument for their loved one, while understanding that this is one of the most difficult purchases they have ever had to make.

IN HOME APPOINTMENT

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Call a member of our sales staff at 877-603-8484 or 877-836-0332 to schedule an in home appointment. We can travel a reasonable distance and have staff who live in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, all who are able to travel for an in home appointment. We have found that these types of appointments help with those who are home bound and are not comfortable working via email to create and purchase a monument. We are able to create previews, draw up contracts and take payments, all from the comfort of your own home.

ONLINE SALES

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Email our sales staff at info@mlestones.com or give us a call at 877-836-0332 to start your online monument purchase. Our sales staff, most of whom are also certified graphic artists, will work with you over the phone and via email to create and purchase a unique and beautiful monument. In today’s society, you can purchase just about anything online. But, most people don’t know that you can also purchase a monument for your loved one online as well. We can work via the telephone and internet with clients who are both local and non-local. We typically determine whether or not the cemetery in which the stone will be installed is within travel distance for our setting crew on the first phone call or email. If our setting crew can install the monument, we will include the cost of this installation in the price quote. If the cemetery or a local monument company needs to do the monument installation, although we do often assist with any applications or information the cemetery requires, the cost of installation would not be included in the total sales price. We have found that people from all over the country prefer to work with us for several different reasons, the most important being that we are customer satisfaction oriented, as well as offering some of the lowest prices in the United States. Purchasing a monument online is simple. If you can purchase clothing online, there is no reason you can’t purchase your monument online as well!

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Due to the increasing number of local cemeteries who are allowing only Bronze Memorials to be installed on their grounds, Mike’s Laser Etching/Sartin Memorials has now begun offering high quality Bronze Memorials. Although not as easily customized as granite, there is still a large variety of design and layout options available to ensure that your loved one’s memorial still reflects who they were as a person and what they meant to those who loved them.

In addition to working with one of the leading Bronze companies in the world, we also include a granite backer for the Bronze Memorial. Typically, the Bronze Memorial is installed on a slab of concrete, which is then placed in the ground, just as a granite base would be. However, in order to ensure that the Bronze Memorial is as high quality as possible, we decided that our Bronze Memorials should all be placed on a granite backer, rather than a typical slab of concrete. Although the Gray Granite backer is included in the cost of all of our Bronze Memorials, we do also have an option to upgrade to a different color to granite for an additional cost.

To learn more about our Bronze Memorials, visit our website -at: http://mikeslaseretching.com/bronze.html

Or, give Heather or Sara a call at 877-836-0332 or email us at info@mikeslaseretching.com

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: https://mikeslaseretchingsartinmemorials.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/question-of-the-week-what-is-the-difference-between-laser-etching-sandblasting/

For more information on choosing the color of granite that your monument should be, see our blog: https://mikeslaseretchingsartinmemorials.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/question-of-the-week-what-color-granite-should-i-choose-for-my-monument/

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

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 whitest white to the blackest black, and every color in between. To see some of the most commonly ordered monument colors, visit our website at: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/granite_colors.html.

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: https://mikeslaseretchingsartinmemorials.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/question-of-the-week-what-is-the-difference-between-laser-etching-sandblasting/.

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. 

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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.

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When you start to get into the colored granite, such as the Blue Pearl and the Carnation Pink, 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. 

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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.

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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.

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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 white granite she loved so much!

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To learn more about our Laser Etched Marble Portraits, click here: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/laser_etched_marble.html

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To learn more about our Porcelain Portraits, click here: http://www.mikeslaseretching.com/ceramic_portraits.html

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: www.mikeslaseretching.com.

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

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Midnight Black Granite

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Frosty Black Granite

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Blue Pearl Granite

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Bahama Blue Granite

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Imperial Pink Granite

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White Pearl Granite

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Barre VT Gray Granite

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Standard Gray Granite

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India Red Granite

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India Aurora Granite

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Maple Red Granite

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Forest Green Granite

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Tropical Green Granite

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Spring Valley Granite

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Emerald Pearl Granite

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Carnation Pink Granite

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