​Jewelry and Watch Engraving FAQ

​Jewelry and Watch Engraving FAQ

Engraving elevates jewelry, watches, decorative objects, gifts, and more, with personalized style. For the gift giver, engraving is a way to send a meaningful message to the recipient—whether a spouse, loved one, grandchild, friend, or top-performing employee. What better way to commemorate an event, milestone, or achievement than with a custom message etched permanently in a memorable gift?

What is engraving?

Jewelry and watch engraving are highly skilled techniques that require special tools, and training to operate them. Engraving is the process by which an engraver adds irreversible marks to the surface of a chosen object. Choosing to have an engraving done is not much different from deciding on a tattoo! Engraving can be as simple as a monogram, or as complex as a portrait. The real benefit to engraving is the option for customization. Whether you’re choosing from pre-designed images or typography, or you wish to create something completely original, you are ultimately making a beloved ring, bracelet, watch, or pendant with marks that make it even more personal.

How is engraving done?

Engraving can be completed by three methods:

  • Rotary engraving uses a tiny handheld rotating drill bit.
  • Laser engraving employs a strong laser beam and hand engraving can be described as painting with metal tools.
  • Hand engraving is a talent completed by highly skilled artists who can create almost anything you can dream of.

Rotary engraving can be dictated by the hand of the engraving artist, or it can be programmed by a computer and mechanically reproduced. With a rotary engraving tool, the drill bit must be regularly replaced so that the artist is afforded the sharpest point possible. The sharper a point, the more detail an artist can achieve in their designs! The weight of the lines within the design can only be the width of the bit, so it is also important that the artist choose carefully. They may consider using different-sized bits in one design. Rotary engraving is not recommended for glass objects.

Laser engraving is the technique of using a high-powered beam that carries out a design that is programmed by a computer. The width and intensity of the laser beam can be easily and non-mechanically adjusted, which allows for a variety of line weights and depths in the engraving. Any material can be engraved by a laser, including glass, plastic, and even paper!

A hand engraver carefully removes metal with their hand and tool pressing upon the item to be engraved. Very few hand-engraving artists remain. This technique is the most expensive type of engraving, but it delivers gorgeous results.

Rotary, laser, or hand engraving are appropriate for metal and stone, but only a laser is powerful enough to engrave a diamond.

What might you want to have engraved into jewelry or a watch?

The sky is the limit when it comes to what can be engraved into jewelry or watches! Initials are a common choice, as well as dates. Your engraving project might mark an engagement, a wedding, or an important anniversary. It can reflect a baby or child’s initials, or help the wearer remember a relative who has passed. For these reasons, trusting your engraver is important, as they will be helping you create a unique gift for or about the most important people in your life.

The size of the object, and the complexity of what you want to draw or say on it, are essential factors when considering the possibilities for your engraving project. As a rule of the thumb, most inscriptions cannot be longer than 16 characters. The longer the message, the smaller the characters. Basic engraving, or an engraving option that comes with the purchase of a piece of jewelry, might come with only a very small additional cost. The more complex and customized an engraving job is, the more expensive you can expect the cost to be.

What styles of jewelry or watches will work for engraving?

Any metal object with a flat and smooth surface is typically suitable for engraving. Most commonly, Lux Bond & Green customers ask for engraving on watch backs or sides, the interior of engagement rings and wedding bands, the insides and outsides of lockets, the insides of bracelets, and on flatware (for example, with a family name or crest). Maybe you’re ready for an upgrade to a familiar object, or you want to convey something special to a loved one. The gift of engraving is always a beautiful one.

Crystal etching

We also can engrave or etch crystal objects for trophies and special gifts for almost every occasion. Crystal etching can create the perfect gift and lasting memories for weddings, anniversaries, retirements, and professional recognitions.

How do you choose an engraving artist?

For your peace of mind, whether you’re deciding to add your 50th-anniversary date to the inside of your wedding bands, or you’re helping your son engrave a bracelet for his girlfriend, we suggest that you select an engraving studio that has experience. Lux Bond & Green can engrave your wedding rings just as we engraved your grandfather’s first gift to your grandmother. It’s no joke when we say that we take “keeping it in the family” seriously. We’ve kept our business in the family since 1898! We understand the importance of creating, and adding to heirlooms, for your growing tribe. Our trusted artisans, including master goldsmiths, expert hand and machine engravers, and Swiss-trained watchmakers mean that you can centralize your jewelry and watch needs under one roof.

Like the look of engraving? Explore all of Lux Bond & Green’s Monogram Options. We think you’ll find it exciting to consider these additional services, like monogram and etching, and all the ways that you can add customization to your life.