A sad note: The major supplier of quality plaques in the US, most of what we feature here, has announced that the underlying metal will no longer be brass - it will be coated steel. Not too surprisingly, all the other manufacturers have jumped on board. Since I bought this business in 1996 I have seen quality decline but this isn't a decline - it's a nosedive.
Coated steel, if engraved with a diamond (as we do) will turn black quickly as the metal oxidizes. Lasers, which do not engrave the metal but only burn off the coating, will not have this issue. But there will be no texture, no sparkle, no contrast, just dull lifeless awards that we do not feel deserve to be called "recognition awards."
We will be transitioning to our own inhouse made plaques that use actual brass coated in many colors, with back plates or our own borders, but it will take awhile. The full color sublimation pieces will stay and I continue to look for a high-end manufacturer.
While we will not offer lasered metal plaques, we do laser maple and alder plaques that look fantastic after being lasered.