Milgrain Engraving the Detail You Don’t Want to Forget
Sometimes you barely see it, yet if you have your custom wedding ring made and it’s not there you feel you’ve lost something. This Santa Barbara Jewelry Designer has noticed over time that milgrain engraving is the tiny detail with the big impact.
Milgrain Engraving Defined
I frequently get asked what “milgrain” is. Literally, it translates to “a thousand grains.” Sometimes it’s spelled with one “l” and sometimes with two. In our case, milgrain is a row of tiny beads or hemispheres along the edge or boundary of a section of jewelry.
Typically, you see it all along the outer edges of band rings or you see it surrounding hand engraving.
Milgrain’s Been Around and Comes in Different Sizes
Milgrain has a history. It’s been used as a jewelry decoration in many different cultures for thousands of years.
Milgrain comes in different sizes. Some example are so small you almost have to feel it to know it’s there. Others times it’s bigger and easily visible.
Three Ways Milgrain is Made
There are different methods of incorporating milgrain into a piece of jewelry:
1. Tiny balls can be fabricated and individually soldered onto a piece.
2. A knurling—or milgraining—tool can be rolled over a metal surface creating a row of bumps and depressions, after which they are rounded, smoothed, and polished.
3. Computers can be used to draw milgrain and create the program to carve the subsequent wax with milgrain details.
Milgrain Engraving and Jewelry Restoration
When older inherited rings come to me for repair, sizing and restoration of time period details, I frequently suggest we restore the missing milgrain engraving.
Many people who have inherited antique rings don’t know that they used to have this detail.
We turn to milgrain engraving to bring back the feel of the era that ring came from. It makes such a difference in the visual impact and feel of the ring.
You get to see what that ring looked like when your Grandfather gave it to your Grandmother. See Carole’s Milgrain re-engraving blog post.
Milgrain Engraving, Like the Frame to Your Picture
So what’s the deal? Why milgrain? Why not just leave the outer rim of the ring smooth and shiny?
Like a picture frame surrounding a painting, milgrain engraving is a design element used to set off—or frame—certain elements of jewelry design, like gemstones or hand engraving.
It can add an antique feel to a piece. Other times, it suggests artistry and hand craftsmanship. Sometimes…it just looks cool!
What’s the Takeaway Message Here?
Whether you’re designing a special ring from the bottom up, or are wanting to infuse some old world beauty into your existing ring, think about including milgrain engraving.
You Can Call Me!
Are you curious about milgrain? Might it work for you? Call me and let’s talk about it.
See my video:
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