Hand engraving transforms a simple piece of jewelry into a one-of-a-kind work of art. Everything about hand-engraved jewelry is unique, from its die striking strength to the rudimentary tools used by craftspeople, along with the exquisite attention to detail in the crispness of the lines created using this method. At Jabel, old-world techniques are still a valued step in creating exceptional, heirloom quality jewelry.
You will find hand engraving throughout each category of jewelry that Jabel has to offer, including engagement rings and wedding bands, rings, pendants, finial slides for Omega necklaces, bracelets in the Add-A-Section collection, and the carved Bouquet collection.
Our most popular motif is the wheat pattern, which adorns jewelry in many of our categories. This intricate design is a graceful interpretation of the organic, stylized pattern of wheat.
Hand engraving takes on a different role in our carved Bouquet collection. Rather than serving as the dominant decorative detail, hand engraving is meant to complement and blend with the die struck, 3-dimensional details of carved jewelry.
If quality standards are not met, the piece is rejected and the process begins again, starting back at the initial alloying and die striking steps.
At Jabel, a hand engraver’s canvas is a piece of jewelry and their brushes are rudimentary tools: scribers, gravers, and burnishers. In place of an easel is a swivel block that holds the jewelry in pins, allowing the artists to move the jewelry a full 360 degrees without having to remove it.
The alloys or metals used to create the jewelry must be perfect to ensure malleability. After alloying, the jewelry must move through a variety of die striking steps, including heating and rolling, blanking, rolling plates, and being struck with working dies. Depending on the piece, additional production steps may be involved in just the die striking process alone.
The engraver must have a thorough knowledge of each design, know how to interpret a flat design into a rounded piece of jewelry, and maintain a working knowledge of tools, pressure, and density to ensure the design is equally sunk into the metal.
The apparatus used by Jabel’s artisans is truly an old-world tool. The engraver uses a scriber to indicate where the pattern will be placed, ensuring consistency in the pattern.
If any blemishes or burrs form during the engraving process, a burnisher is used to remove the imperfections. The engravers use a "block" with vise-like pins to hold the jewelry in place during the process. The entire block is set on a swivel base, allowing for easy maneuvering.