Picture this: Your wedding ring, a masterpiece of craftsmanship, transformed into a timeless treasure with a hidden message, known only to you and your beloved. There's something undeniably enchanting about a ring engraving featuring a special date, intertwining initials, a secret phrase, or even your own fingerprints. We’ve gathered all there is to know about ring engraving, complete with some inspiration, so you can be set to make the most of a beautiful and cherished addition to your engagement ring or wedding band.
Engraving Your Ring
The History of Ring Engraving
This tradition, dating back to medieval times, has woven love stories through the ages. Couples have long adorned their special jewelry with religious verses and heartfelt vows, symbolizing their unwavering devotion. During the Renaissance period, it was common for lovers to exchange "poesy rings." These rings featured intricately engraved verses or poetic expressions of affection. Shakespearean sonnets and other romantic poetry often adorned these rings, serving as tangible reminders of love's enduring power.
The Georgian and Edwardian eras were marked by rings bearing religious motifs and verses. These engravings were not only expressions of faith but also declarations of the sanctity of the marital bond. The sentiment behind such inscriptions echoed the enduring nature of love and the importance of a spiritual connection in marriage.
Famous couples like Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine have also exchanged wedding bands with intricate engravings. Napoleon's ring bore the words "Josephine to Napoleon," while Josephine's ring read "Napoleon to Josephine." These rings, with their personalized engravings, are emblematic of one of history's most passionate love stories.
In more recent times, iconic figures like Queen Victoria and Prince Albert exchanged rings engraved with their initials intertwined, setting a trend that would inspire countless couples to follow suit. Even Brooklyn Beckham was swept away with this romantic addition, engraving the engagement ring he gave to wife Nicola Peltz with the words “love of my life” in his own handwriting.
Ring Engraving: The Essentials
Few options for personalizing your engagement ring or wedding band carry the same level of sentiment and significance as ring engraving. And if the idea of engraving your ring is appealing, there’s some essential information to know before taking the leap.
How much does an engraving cost?
The cost of ring engraving can vary depending on several factors, including the complexity of the design and the number of characters. On average, expect to pay between $50 to $100 for a basic engraving. More intricate designs or specialized fonts may incur additional charges. Most rings can comfortably accommodate 15 to 30 characters.
When should you engrave your ring?
The easiest route to engrave your ring is to inform your jeweler of your engraving desires before acquiring your jewelry. Engraving takes place towards the end of the manufacturing process of the ring, allowing you ample time to ponder your heartfelt message as your rings take shape. However, even if you choose to engrave your ring post-purchase or after the ceremony, it's still possible, just be prepared to temporarily part from your ring for the process.
How are engravings made?
Engravings can be made using various methods, but the most common ones are laser engraving and hand engraving. Laser engraving reigns supreme among jewelers due to its precision and safety, preserving the integrity of your jewelry as laser strength is tailored to the metal type. As far as customization goes, nothing beats what can be accomplished with laser engraving. Using this method, one can engrave any picture, any font, no matter the size.
Hand engraving is a traditional and highly skilled technique where a skilled artisan carves the design into the metal by hand using specialized tools. Hand engraving is a technique that dates back over 500 years. It involves using a super sharp knife to carve the engraving into metal. The limitations of this technique all center around the results being difficult to control since it’s done free hand, making the skill of the artisan paramount. When done well, hand engraving is an art.
Fazio is a great example of using the hand-engraved technique. One criteria is that we must have enough surface area to work with (whereas laser engravings can be done on a much smaller area).
Lito is a great example of using a laser engraving technique. We are able to take someone's fingerprint, clean up the lines in photoshop, then engrave it onto a ring using a laser engraver. The fine lines of a fingerprint could not be executed with hand engraving technique.
Is there more maintenance for an engraved ring?
While ring engravings are durable, they will require some maintenance to ensure they remain in pristine condition and the engraving stays legible. Regular cleanings both at home and by a professional jeweler will help remove dirt and oils that can accumulate in the grooves of the engraving. The big consideration is that over time, especially with daily wear, engravings may wear down. This is particularly the case if the chosen font or lines are thin. If this happens, you can have your ring re-engraved to refresh the inscription.
Ring Engraving Ideas and Inspiration
Often, the hardest part of a ring engraving is choosing what to have inscribed. To help with that, we pulled together some of our favorite engraving ideas throughout the years inspired by nature, love, and our clients.
With Corsello, we crafted a smooth and sleek ring with a ridged border and a classic engraving style featuring the pairing of initials and the wedding date. In our Krutz matching set, we have his and hers wedding bands in shiny, polished yellow gold, both engraved with names and hearts and the wedding date.
Moving beyond the more traditional, Borrelly pairs a nature-inspired softly hammered finish with an inscription and little dinosaur image for a sweet and playful couple. And for one of our most popular engraving styles, Lito and Lili are a gorgeous pair, each engraved with the other partner’s fingerprint.
Ring engraving is a heartwarming and everlasting means to infuse your jewelry with the essence of your love. It allows you to etch not just your names but also the unique beauty of your personalities onto a symbol of a pivotal moment in your journey together. Pick something that you love and has deep meaning, and it will bring a smile to your face for a lifetime.