By far the superior option is a hand engraving. When a portrait or scene is etched by hand, the polish on the stone is removed one tiny piece at a time and at a depth to provide a sharp yet natural image. The final picture is vivid and will require no future maintenance since the natural contrast in the stone provides all the clarity. A laser etching is done by machine and doesn’t stun the granite deeply enough to produce a sharp, highly visible image on its own. Therefore, paint is added to make the image pop. Unfortunately, as with all paint, it wears away in time and the picture becomes difficult to see.