9 Most Common Engraving Mistakes and Misconceptions About Engraving
Misspelled Name – Always confirm the spelling of names. Don’t rely on your memory. So many names have different spellings. Example: Terry or Teri or Terrie and on and on it goes.
Wrong Date – This is the same as the number 1 mistake. Always get it in writing before we engrave it. Remember, engraving cannot be erased.
Engraving is like Printing – Wrong! Engraving, we are using diamonds to plow the surface, like a farmer plows his fields. Or we use lasers to burn off a layer of the surface of the engraving material. None of these engraving processes are we adding ink to the surface. Note: There are other engraving processes, but diamond drag and laser are the most common.
All metal surfaces can be engraved – The answer is no. A ruff metal surface is almost impossible to see the engraving. The roughness is competing with the engraving. Also, many metal surfaces, especially gifts, are plated. Most of the time plated surfaces will engrave OK. Once in a while they have bad plating. The bad plating is only uncovered when it is engraved. The bad spot, the plating peels up. This only happens about 5% of the time.
Assuming what you have cannot be engraved – We have all taken gifts to an award stores only for them to say, “It can not be engraved.” They are implying that nobody can engrave it. In reality – They can’t engrave it. Many times it can be engraved by another company. One great example is watches. The manufacture loves to put all sorts of markings on the back leaving almost no room for engraving. We get around this by engraving on an arc, many times around the edge.
Engraving is too expensive – Yes, it is too expensive – if you take it to a jewelry store. Most jewelry stores don’t engrave. They send it out. The jewelry store and the engraver both need to make a profit. It is best to go to an engraver first. Save some money. Besides, all your concerns can be given directly to the engraver, not passed on through notes from the jeweler.
Lack of engraving choices – Most small awards and engraving places have limited capabilities. Do your research. Ask what the engraving choices are for your engraving job. Ask for testimonials from the engraver’s customers. If they don’t have any, continue your search for an engraver.
It takes forever to get something engraved – Yes, if you take it to a jewelry store. They have to send it out and the time goes by. Taking your engraving job directly to an engraver cuts out the shipping time between the jeweler and the engraver (both ways). Deal direct!
It can be buffed out and re-engraved – The answer is (yes and no). Solid metals like gold or silver can be buffed out and re-engraved. But most jewelry and gift items are plated. When it is buffed out, the plated surface is removed exposing the core metal. The piece is then ruined. Gold pieces that are solid gold will have a stamping 10kt, 14kt, etc. Silver will have stamped Sterling Silver. These items can be buffed out and re-engraved. Almost everything else can not be buffed out. Another trick to tell if it can be buffed out is the price of the item. If it is inexpensive – It is plated. If it is expensive it is more likely to be solid metal and can be buffed out and re-engraved.
The goal is to have a positive experience having your gift or award engraved. A little knowledge can increase your chances for success. Happy engraving!