Precious Metals & Bench: New Products
Scratching the Surface
Hand engraving: a dying art form
The ancient Art of hand engraving has traveled a long road
since the simple designs and crude tools of the third millennium
B.C. But the technique and extensive training required remain
much the same. Artisans still sit before an piece of metal held
on an engraver's block or swivel vise where the pattern is laid
out precisely. Then they re-create the pattern by cutting into
the metal's surface with sharp gravers or burins
of different sizes.
It's demanding work. "Our engraving instructor had to
complete a seven year, 10,000-hour apprenticeship in New Zealand
before becoming a master engraver," says Alan Revere of
the Revere Academy in San Francisco, CA.
The long education and hard work could spell an end to hand
engraving within a generation, say those involved in the craft,
especially in the face of competition from machine engraving.
But because of the artistry involved, the mark of a human hand
and the high quality, hand-engraved jewelry is still in demand
among some consumers, says Revere.
As your customers admire this jewelry, explain the process
and the labor that goes into each creation. Let them know the
number of craftspeople who can do this type of metalwork is limited,
so each piece is truly special and could become collectible.
by Lorraine M. Suermann
||A cultured pearl is suspended from each 14k gold
hand-engraved earrings from the Monaco Collection. Suggested
retail, $1,195. Klass Design Inc., Elko, NV; (775) 753 - 4262,
fax (702) 777-3582.
|Hand-engraved 14k gold bangles are $79 - $599
suggested retail. Available also in 10k. Royal Chain, New York
City; (800) 622-0960, fax (800) 262-4246.
||14k gold locket is hand-engraved and accented
with pink flowers and green leaves. Skalet Gold, Chicago, IL;
(800) 621-6017, fax (773) 477-6293.
|18k and platinum hand-engraved wedding rings.
B&N Jewelry Inc., Marietta, GA; (800) 358-6223 or (770) 578-8745,
fax (770) 578-8744.
||Hand-engraved 18k white and yellow gold wedding
bands in the stack are $225-$550 suggested retail. The two platinum
wedding bands leaning against the others are $325 - $825. OGI
Wedding Bands Ltd., New York City; (212) 840-0935 or (212) 764-7240.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.