ring engravings: how and why

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One of the most traditional and popular ways to customise rings is by engraving them with a few words or a design. Most common are rings with a special date inscribed on the inside surface. Do you know how and why this impacts the jewellery? I’ll give a brief explanation here!

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Pair of rings with date and names hand-engraved on the inside. Refined engraving work. (Engravings by Michele Griggio)

Engraved jewellery is one of the oldest types of ornaments known to humankind. The earliest rings engraved date back to the Bronze Age, but weren’t just decorations – they were actually sealsToday ring engravings are purely ornamental, with the sole aim of customisation. The most common example is wedding rings with the wedding date engraved on the inside. Alternatively it could commemorate the couple’s first date, first kiss, or another significant event. I find this a very romantic way to make your ring completely unique. If you like, you could even opt for engraving your names along with an important symbol, your initials, a meaningful number, or a quote. . .as long as there’s enough space!

Although rings are the most popular type of jewellery to engrave dates on, the truth is that all types of jewellery within a certain size and thickness can be engraved. There are two basic techniques for engraving: the pantograph and by hand. The pantograph is a machine equipped with a cutter on the tip; it’s used quite rarely and only to engrave letters or numbers. Engraving by hand, however, is a real art, practiced by experts in engraving and setting. Engraving on metal is a very ancient art; it’s also used to create numbered prints. It requires a slow and precise technique to replicate any miniaturized design on metal, because the tip of the burin can create an infinite amount of shapes and dimensions. It obviously depends on how much space you have to work with: the larger the size of the writing or drawing, the bigger the jewellery needs to be.

Already have a few ideas in mind? Contact me!


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