Hand engrave a number of our designs with initials, monograms, images and mottos. Use the ‘Engrave' tool on the product pages to see the possible engraving options for the piece. The price will automatically be displayed in the pop out. Engraving takes about a week but if you have left it a bit late it’s always worth dropping us a line. If we can help, we will.
Our hand engraver is one of the very best in the country. Unlike machine engraving, the letters are arranged within the space using her experience and judgment. This results in a far more balanced and aesthetically pleasing one. Hand engraving also achieves a much deeper cut than a machine, which merely scratches the surface. Our hand engraver also completes 'Seal' Engraving, suitable for signet rings. Our catalogue can be emailed over on request.
Hand engraving is performed by hand, using handheld engravers. In fact, it is the same technique used by traditional bank note engravers. The engraver creates the design, including letters or an image, by cutting hundreds of lines of varying widths and depths until the design comes to life.
Traditional deep seal engraving is the most popular method of engraving signet rings. The image is carved deeply into the metal, and this is the type of signet ring a seal can be made from. The traditional way is to engrave in reverse, so that when it is transferred over to its 3D wax impression, the impression is facing the correct way. This process is most suitable for signet rings because of the daily wear they receive – it lasts many generations, but due to the time necessary, it is a more expensive procedure.
Monograms were first used on Roman coins with the emperor's initials. They were popularised by craftsmen of the middle ages, who used their monogramed initials to sign their work. The Victorian era saw the rise of monograms among the middle classes.
Creating symbols for identification purposes is as old as humankind itself. Heraldry’s origins lie partly in the military and national symbols and insignia that were used in ancient Egypt, Rome and in England, and partly in the individual designs of personal seals on signet rings and fobs that have been found as far back as ancient Mesopotamian society.
The art and order that we know as heraldry today did not begin developing until the 1100's, around the time of the Crusades. While wearing suits of armour and closed helmets on the battle and tournament field, the need for a quick, visual way to identify each other became a matter of survival. English knights would paint symbols on their shields or clothing to help their allies recognize them, and the practice spread quickly throughout Europe. Over time, knights’ symbols were embroidered on their surcoats which were worn over the suits of armour; these quickly became known as coats of arms.