How Much Does It Cost to Engrave a Headstone?

When planning a funeral, one of the things you have to think about is the cost of gravestones in your area. You also have to consider the expenses associated with having a headstone engraved. This can take some research because some companies charge a combined total (wording plus marker) while others charge by number of characters. Most engravers also factor in the technique and material.

Generally, the average cost of engraving headstones lies between $500 and $1,500 when you consider that many engravers charge $20 to $25 per character plus half this amount for extra words. Below is a breakdown of what this amount covers and possible additional costs you should know about.

Date of Death

Only including the date of date on a headstone is understandably cheaper than adding an epitaph and picture. The cost ranges from $300 to $375 for 15 characters and a spelled-out month of death, making it the most affordable option. If you want the engraving done at the cemetery, you might also have to budget for cemetery fees.

Deceased’s Picture

If you choose to have a picture included on the headstone, the pricing will depend on the technique. There are three ways images are engraved on headstones:

1. Ceramic Mount

This is the traditional option that includes a picture printed on porcelain or ceramic being mounted onto the stone. Depending on the plate size and who installs it, the cost may fall between $150 and $400.

2. Laser-Etched Picture

If the uses a laser machine to etch an image of the deceased onto the headstone while including some lettering, you will likely pay $150 to $320. It is important to note that this option is only available for use on darker-colored gravestones.

3. Hand-Etched Picture

The hand-etch option involves having a carver etch the picture into the stone and is the most expensive choice of the three, yet it produces highly realistic results. This is because of the effort, time, and artistry required to deliver results. On average, the price range is $900 and upwards.

Other Costs

The engraver may raise or reduce their asking price based on the engraving design’s size, style, and complexity.