Precious Metals & Bench: News
Jewelry companies combine modern technology with an ancient
art to create an image that will last a lifetime
Long ago only the wealthy could afford to commission engraved
jewelry. But technological advances and the growing importance
people place on family mementos have led to tremendous growth
in the field of personalized jewelry, particularly photo charm
"The ability to wear your favorite image close to your
heart is soothing and invites a great deal of compliments and
conversation," says David Savage, vice president of marketing
for PhotoScribe, New York City. Bernard Halpern, president of
Golden Graphics, New York City, agrees. "They are instant
family heirlooms and a perfect gift to give on birthdays, anniversaries
and holidays such as Valentines Day or Mother's Day," he
Customized charm pendants also set jewelers apart from mass
merchants, require no extra investment and often prompt add-on
sales, such as a gold chains or bracelets to wear them on. Place
a sample next to other charm pendants in your display case. "In
addition to displaying them in the case, we've found stores sell
the most when a salesperson wears an image of a loved one,"
Here are details on two companies offering distinctive ways
to turn ordinary photos into portraits on gold.
Golden Graphics offers three types of photo imaging:
- Standard engraving (mechanical engraving) offers high resolution,
precise detail and brightness. This computerized method of engraving
cuts the metal with a diamond-pointed tool at 22,500 faceted
cuts per square inch, giving the image a holographic effect.
- UltraEngraving provides a black antiqued image with
high resolution and detail. The image is bright and clearly visible
at all angles. The gold is treated with black die permanently
fused onto the surface.
- The Picture Pendant system offers color imaging with
vibrant colors. Like UltraEngraving, the gold is treated
and color is fused to the
Golden Graphic's photo imaging pendants are $80-$290 keystone.
All images are guaranteed against fading and peeling; if any
charm is damaged beyond normal wear and tear, the company will
PhotoScribe offers a patented laser-engraving process for
precious metal in which images, text, handwriting or line drawings
are scanned into a computer system and engraved into precious
metal with a laser system.
If the customer desires color, enamel is processed onto the
gold and baked before a protective crystal is placed over the
image. All pendants are seamlessly manufactured and all frames
are cast in house. The line starts at $99 keystone and comes
with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects as well
as a 30-day unconditional return policy.
How it Works
With both systems, the customer gives the jeweler the image
he or she wants reproduced, and the jeweler sends it to the company.
Golden Graphics or Photoscribe then scan and retouch the image
by computer to remove any flaws such as creases or cracks. The
subjects are outlined and the backgrounds are removed to allow
more of the gold to show through. If there is more than one subject,
each is repositioned to better fit the pendant shape the customer
has chosen. Cropping and positioning preferences should come
from the customer.
After the image is engraved, colors are matched to the picture
and added if desired. The pendant then is shipped back to the
Golden Graphics offers kits that include samples of all three
image types, a color catalog and a counter card showing different
styles in actual sizes. "We also offer a tracking system
with a serial number for each image so it can be reproduced again
without using the original photo," says Halpern.
PhotoScribe offers a similar kit and an instruction booklet,
generic ads and ad slicks for different holidays. The company
also sells special displays.
by Lorraine M. Suermann
|| This pendant at top left is an example
of the color imaging process available from Golden Graphics,
New York City; (212) 575-2105, fax (212) 575-2140.
|You can see the difference between color and
black-and-white laser engraved images by PhotoScribe, New York
City; (888)746-8672 or (212) 819-1225, fax (212) 819-1717.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.