People interested in purchasing our handmade Sterling Silver wedding rings often message me and ask – can you engrave this ring?
Unfortunately, I have to reply with a ‘no’ – because we can’t engrave as we don’t have a) the training to do so freehand or b) the machine that does it for you.
What we DO offer is hand-stamping of some of our rings – but this is limited to rings that have a flat profile, because it’s very difficult to stamp rings with a half-round profile well, and you can’t – of course – stamp a ring with a round profile!
But many customers simply aren’t clear on what the difference is between these two techniques, which is why I wanted to explain in today’s post.
Stamping is the process of taking individual letter/number/character stamps, and impressing them into the surface of the silver using a hammer.
This means we can only use the stamps we have.
We’ve invested in a range of interesting stamps over the years, such as a heart, a plus sign, all the numbers and all the letters, as well as a set of punctuation stamps.
This allows our customers to personalise their messages quite nicely!
It also means that each stamped letter etc. is separate – much like printed handwriting.
You can usually tell hand-stamping apart from engraving by looking closely at it – hand-stamping will often have slightly uneven letters, perhaps one slightly higher than another, or slightly twisted. Different stamps may have slightly different depths.
In short – it’s much more organic, and done stamp-by-stamp, by hand.
Here’s a little (sped-up) video showing me stamping a ring.
Engraving is the process of etching into the metal with an engraving tool – either freehand by a trained engraver, or using an engraving machine.
I actually used to do a little bit of freehand engraving on necklace tags when I first started Epheriell, but I retired those products because I don’t have the steadiest of hands – or the best handwriting! – so I wasn’t really happy with how they came out.
Here in Australia, I usually suggest people who want their jewellery engraved take it along to somewhere like Mister Minit – as they have trained hand engravers and often engraving machines so you can get your piece engraved by a professional.
Using a machine (such as this one) gives you way more design options, as you can choose different fonts. You can also have printed OR cursive text engraved in your ring, and generally, the profile of the ring doesn’t matter so much (though round surfaces are still tricky to do).
However, engraving machines are quite expensive, and we haven’t yet invested in one, which is why we can’t currently offer this service.
Below is an example of an engraved set of rings (not ours, of course).
So – Which Should You Choose?
It really comes down to personal preference!
If you want to purchase one of our rings, then of course hand-stamping is the only option we offer, but as I said above, you could always take your Epheriell ring to an engraver to get it engraved after you receive it.
If you like the idea of us stamping your rings by hand – and the more organic, rustic look that offers – then our Secret Message Rings might be a great fit.
If you prefer a more elaborate and/or ‘perfect’ look, then engraving will be your best bet.