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Bronze Plaque Review & Alternative

By Mike Wallis

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Memorial Plaques & design online

Bronze Plaque Pluses

Bronze memorial plaques are a great way to pay tribute to a special person or simply provide information for a location. They offer a lasting, durable solution in indoor and outdoor environments. Because bronze plaques are made of metal they are strong.

There are however some down sides to consider when choosing to use a bronze plaque especially in outdoor environments. We'll review some of the major issues to consider when deciding to go with a bronze plaque.

Bronze Memorial Plaque Alternative  
Bronze Memorial Plaque
Alternative - Granite

Bronze Plaque Negatives


1. Tarnish - Bronze plaques typically contain a mixture of copper and tin which over time will tarnish into a greenish black color. The green comes from the copper and the black is a result of the tin. To prevent the bronze from tarnishing it must be maintained by sealing with wax yearly or a clear paint.

  Bronze Plaque Tarnished
Bronze Plaque Tarnished

2. Theft - Do a online search for "Stolen bronze plaques" and you will quickly see that theft for bronze plaques is high. Although this is almost unthinkable especially for memorial plaques, bronze plaques have recently increased in theft. Why? The cost of bronze has skyrocketed in just the past few years. This is because the main ingredient in bronze (copper) has risen in price by 500%. This makes bronze memorials and other outdoor bronze plaques a big target for thieves who want to recycle the bronze for some quick money.
Unfortunately there is a good chance that a bronze plaque will need to be replaced in the future due to theft, even with specialty mounting hardware. Replacing a $1500 bronze plaque is not in most people or organizations budget and should be considered.

3. Cost - Bronze plaques are the most expensive on the market and for good reason. They are labor intensive. The typical process includes creating the artwork, making a cast, casting the molten bronze, painting (if needed), polishing and finally cleaning up the rough edges. On top of the labor intensive process there's the cost of the bronze which as discussed has increased dramatically in the last few years (around 500%).

4. Turn around time - Because bronze plaques are labor intensive the turn around time is usually between 2-4 weeks. If the plaque is needed quickly as in a ceremony within one week, then this may be a issue.


The Alternative - Granite Memorial Plaques
Bronze Memorial Plaque Alternative Review

Over the years we have had many customers who have decided to choose granite plaques over bronze. The two main reasons were one, they previously had a bronze plaque and it was stolen and two the cost. Granite is one of the most weather resistant stones available and is the fourth hardest element known to man. This simply means that it weathers and fades slowly. Because it's so durable it has become the standard for headstones and monuments.

Using the same points from the bronze plaque above lets compare it to a granite memorial plaque.

1. Tarnish - Because granite in not a metal it will not tarnish.

2. Theft - Do a search for "Stolen granite plaques" and you will not see much. This isn't not because granite is not an attractive plaque but because granite has very little if any, recycle value.

3. Cost - Granite memorial plaques are about 1/3 the cost compared to the bronze plaque of the same size. Granite plaques require significantly less labor to produce than bronze. The typical process includes preparing the artwork and text, cutting and finishing the edges, then laser engraving. The labor time involved is also about 1/3 of the bronze memorial plaque.

4. Turn around time - Because granite plaques are less labor intensive the turn around time is usually between 2-5 days, bronze is 2-4 weeks.

If you need help designing a memorial plaque we have dedicated graphic artist to assist. This is a free service that is included with with any of our online orders. Click the link below to get started and submit for your FREE proof designed by our professional graphic artist.

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Granite Plaques & Design Online
Bronze Plaque Alternative