Oct 16

Engraved Rings – Five Things You Need to Know

By Calla Gold

Platinum Hand Engraved Rings, Three Diamond Engagement

Hand Engraved Engagement Ring. Calla Gold Design

What Exactly Is Ring Engraving?

On a rainy day my phone rang. A nice guy named Lon said, “My girlfriend Sue wants engraved rings. We were talking about ring styles she likes, because I want to create an engagement ring for her. I haven’t started the design process yet. Do you know what she means by ‘engraved rings?’”

“Lon, that’s a good question. I’m writing this blog post for you and the other guys who need more information on what engraved rings are all about.”

Engraving Covers a Lot of Territory

Engraving inside and outside band ring

Inscription engraving inside the band tells a special love message

What exactly does your Sue mean when she requests an engraved ring? Is she talking about the wedding date and both your initials inscribed inside the shank? Or a message? Perhaps a cute pet name for her?

Or is she referring to intricate designs etched over the top surface of her wished for engagement ring?

The answer: maybe both. We just need to figure out what type of engraving Sue wants and what engraving method you should request. Here is a quick explanation of engraving types and your choices of methods in having it done.

Two Main Types of Ring Engraving Defined


Machine Engraver and spoon

The Machine Used for Machine Engraving

1) Inscription Engraving

Names, dates, and messages engraved on the inside shank of a ring is “inscription engraving.”

Couples commonly add this type of engraving to their wedding and engagement rings.

2) Decorative Design Engraving on the Outside of the Ring

Engraver engraving a ring by hand

Vaskin, the Hand Engraver Crafts the Design One Carving at a Time

Floral, sweeping designs, or tiny pictures create the vintage look to make your ring unique.

Oftentimes, the little, exacting, and intricate artful details on a ring can’t be replicated in the wax carving and casting processes.

It these cases, it’s left to a professional engraver to carve the complex and artistic design into the metal after the ring has been cast.

What’s Next With Engraved Rings?

If you want inscription engraving, you’ll want to know your choices of engraving methods.

The Three Ring Engraving Methods Used in Inscription Engraving

Templates for machine engraving

Machine Engraving Letter Templates in Script Font

1) Machine Engraving

Like the name implies, your ring is secured in a vise grip on a machine.

While the engraver traces a template, (pattern,) of the letter or symbol that will be inscribed, a corresponding sharp tool engraves the jewelry.

The templates are the limiting factor in that you need to choose one that they offer.

Typically the engraving isn’t deep but the letters are neat and uniform.

2) Hand Engraved Rings

This type of engraving has been around for thousands of years. Because it’s done by hand, it’s imperfect, but…it’s unique and I find it charming.

hand engraving

Hand Engraving Going Narrow to Wide and Back Again. Perfectly Imperfect

Hand engraving also allows the freedom of choosing symbols and various lettering styles in sizes and fonts where no template pattern exists for a machine engraver.

Finally, the letters on hand engraved rings are usually deeper and therefore, will last longer.

One aesthetically appealing aspect of hand engraving is the look of a letter going from narrow to wide and back to narrow. And from shallow to deep back to shallow.

This creates a depth and interest when seen that is unique and artistic in its handmade beauty on your engraved rings.

For more examples of hand engraving check out “Engraving Your Signet Ring.”

3) Laser Engraving


Laser Engraving Machine

Laser machines are expensive, but offer great flexibility, especially in terms of size and font style selection.

The operator programs your message on a computer, offering much versatility.

Because the operator can set shorter or longer dwell times for the laser beam, he can etch alternate metals other than gold, such as tungsten, titanium and stainless steel.

Detail Picture Of Laser Engraving in Ring Shank

This Message Would Only Work With Laser Engraving

These alternate metals take a longer time to engrave and often cannot be engraved by machine or by hand.

I’ve even engraved a kiss inside a ring!

Today, even diamonds can be engraved. Thanks to laser engraving. The font size lasered onto the girdle of a diamond is so small, it can only be seen under high magnification.

The Method I  Use for  Engraving on the Outside of Your Ring

Side View Detail of Hand Engraved Ring by Calla Gold Jewelry

Beautiful Hand Engraving on an Engagement Ring I Recently Made

We use hand engraving for designs on the surface of the engraved rings we make.

This type of engraving is an art form and looks amazing on wedding rings.

I love the detail and the way the hand carved metal reflects the light in a glimmery, gorgeous way!

My Advice for Lon on Finding out What Kind of Engraved Rings Sue Wants

Decorative Engraving done by Hand Engraving Method - Calla Gold Jewelry

Decorative Engraving Adds Detail and Beauty to This Engagement Ring

Lon, I’d love to work with you on a custom designed engraved ring for your engagement. Ask Sue’s best friend to find out what kind of engraved ring she’s dreaming of. And find out if she’s created a Pinterest page. Then we are good to go!

Calla Gold

For more pictures of the different styles of engraving on rings see “How Re-Engraving Saved This Ring.”

My Thanks to Gerard Leon Engraving, Diamond Crest Engraving and Laser Engraving Express for photos and information.


More Posts in the Engraving Series:

Milgrain Engraving Explained

Restorative Engraving For Older Rings

Engraving Your Signet Ring

Pinterest Page with Engraving Pictures

Signet Ring, What Should You Engrave? Vanilla or Chocolate?

Why You Should Engrave Your Wedding Rings: And What to Engrave

17 thoughts on “Engraved Rings – Five Things You Need to Know

  1. An engraved piece is so personable and romantic! I love this idea and hope more men think to go the extra step when purchasing their next piece from Calla!

    • Kymberly,
      Yes, you read between the lines and men should ask women more questions! Especially what they would love as details on their rings! But we won’t stop there, we could do earrings too! Engraving really makes earrings look great. Thanks for visiting!
      Calla Gold

  2. I love engraving!!! Especially hand engraving-so personal and beautiful. The idea of engraving a diamond is awesome-a special secret to your most important ring in your life. Love your engraving Calla-a true artist.

    • Alison,
      Thanks for digging my engraving. Designing with engraving details excites me.
      I’ve recently added hand engraving to two different clients rings. They weren’t wedding rings, just rings t hey’d
      grown tired of. They aren’t tired of them now.
      Calla Gold

  3. I really like the engraving on the wedding bands. I love the engraving work of Calla Gold Jewelry. It photographs very well.
    Madeleine at madphoto.com

    • Madeleine,
      I can picture you getting excited about photographing that kind of detail. Engraving really bends the light in cool ways and creates neat effects. Thanks for your feedback.
      Calla Gold

    • Dr. Lynn,
      It is my intention to give the best service I can and have the deepest pile of arrows in my quiver of helpful services!
      I love your comment!
      Calla Gold

  4. This informative post with engraving info is something I hope you’ll include in your next edition of your e-book “The Language of Jewelry Design” that I downloaded recently. Your e-book is chock full of great information for those of us planning our dream engagement ring. But these added engraving details I really like.
    I really liked learning more about the engagement ring engraving details. Keep up the good blogging!

    • Sue,
      Thanks for giving me feedback on data to add to my e-book on designing rings. I am going to update it probably this year and that’s helpful commenting from you.
      Calla Gold

  5. I have a question my daughter’s ring was engraved very lightly, and hardly noticeable and will be given to her this sat. It is for her 16th birthday a ring her great grandma was supposed to buy for her but passed away 7 months ago, so we enscribed it with something she used to always say, tell cheyenne she is so pretty. My question is, is there a way to make the encryption colored like black so she can see it better, she is going to be stunned when she sees it, but i want her to be able to read it immediately???? Ant ideas?????

    • Hi Latasha,
      As far as I know there is not way to put in a darkening agent in a shallow engraved area. It’d just come out.
      If you want her the be able to read that special message, I’d hand her a magnifying glass. Then she can see it first thing and she’ll always know that special message is there for her in the future.
      Your Personal Jeweler,

  6. Could you do pictures instead of words?
    I’m looking to get a design done on a spinner ring and was wondering if you had any of those as well? I can send a picture of the design I wanted around the ring, just let me know where to send it.

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