We often get asked how we engrave our handmade jewellery. Since the trend for personalised silver and gold jewellery as a gift has grown tremendously, and there are a lot of styles of hand engraved or stamped jewellery around, it was important to us that how we personalised our jewellery was as important as how we made it. Here's a brief outline of the ways different jewellery companies create their personalised jewellery, and how we create ours.
Stamped silver jewellery
Stamping into silver (or gold) jewellery is one of the most simple ways to personalise it. Each individual letter is hand stamped with a set of letter punches and a jewellery hammer, and sometimes oxidised to blacken the writing.
The advantage of this style of personalised jewellery is it’s often quite cheap to make as it uses blank, simple jewellery to stamp on, and doesn’t require a lifetime of skills to do if you have the right tools, time to practice, and a steady hand. The disadvantages of this style of personalisation is that often letters aren’t very well spaced or lined up (except, of course, if you are an expert), however, this does lend the finished jewellery a real handmade feel which is avery on-trend for silver jewellery, and accepted as the handmade feature of much of the personalised jewellery you see online.
Hand engraved jewellery
Hand engraved jewellery requires a lot of skill and years of practice, - if you want a good job it’s generally best left to the experts with decades of experience and as a result it can be quite costly if you're looking for a long message. Engraving is done using a hand held engraving tool or pen. The result can be more shallow engraving than you will see in stamped jewellery - a popular option for inside rings or signet rings, but the effect can rub away in jewellery that gets a lot of bashing about like the outside of a ring. Hand engraving is also not as visible on smaller pieces of jewellery such as pendants, and as the engraving is often shallow, it can’t then be oxidised to make the writing easier to read.
Signet ring engraving
Signet ring engravers are highly skilled- it takes years of practice to become a respected signet ring engraver, and involves carving a negative image of the picture (usually a family crest) deeply enough to create a three-dimensional carving deep into the jewellery. The signet ring can then be used as a stamp for a family crest in sealing wax. read our blog post on our signet ring service if you would like more information.
Scarlett Jewellery's engraving machine
We use an antique engraving machine called a Pantograph that was originally built in WWII to create our personalised jewellery. Designed to engrave metal name plates for luggage and belongings, the machine uses a variable depth engraving cutter on one end, and traced letters on the other. Using practiced skills and a very steady hand, we trace the letters whilst slowly cutting into the metal to create the personalised engraving. We can carefully control how deep or shallow to engrave, and all our engraved jewellery is done in our own range of bespoke fonts we had made to fit our vintage machine. The finished result is deeply engraved personalised jewellery created in a readable, hand-written font - made to last so the words you choose don't fade in time.
Using our skills over the years, we have learned how to engrave around surfaces such as our handmade silver rings and bracelet charm beads, meaning our collection of personalised jewellery grows and grows as our skills develop and time moves on. We will continue to experiment and learn more so we can carry on adding to our personalised silver and gold jewellery range and keep on creating beautiful engraved jewellery for you to treasure.