You and your spouse-to-be got your brand new wedding bands all picked out and you are ready to personalize them by engraving a special message to each other inside the ring. But you don’t know what type of engraving you should get. Did you know most reputable jewelers offer traditional etched engraving and new laser engraving?
Traditional engraving is the way engraving has been down since the beginning of time, which is by carving or etching your personal message on to the surface of the ring. This is the same type of engraving you would see on trophies and plaques. This technique is quite simple. It involves using a needle like object made of an extremely hard material, usually hardened steel, to literally scratch your engraving on to your wedding bands. Although many jewelers will tell you that this type of engraving cannot be done on tungsten wedding bands because tungsten is just too hard of a metal, it is simply not true. If a traditional engraving machine has a diamond tipped needle, it can engrave on tungsten bands because diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, which means they can scratch anything.
Jewelers who stay on top of technological advances know about laser engraving and offer it to their customers. Although laser engraving or marking machines have been around for decades and have been used in many industrial applications, only recently has this type of engraving been applied to jewelry. The most common type of laser used for doing laser engraving is a Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) laser. YAG is the abbreviation for the type of crystal this laser uses to focus the laser beam. To do the engraving, the laser basically burns your message on to the surface of the ring. This type of engraving is safe to use on all types of metals from soft gold to extremely hard tungsten. One great advantage of laser engraving is that is allows for more types of laser engraving machine fonts to choose from and it can engrave just about any symbol or picture.
Which Type of Engraving Lasts Longer?
The durability of an engraving done on the outside of the ring depends on the durability of the metal itself. On softer metals, like gold, the ring will get scratched and the engraving will wear away over time, but on hard metals like tungsten, the engraving will not wear away as it is very difficult to scratch the ring. Engravings on the inside of the ring will not wear away no matter what metal you choose, as long as you wear the ring on your finger. For the engraving to wear away, that would mean your skin is tougher than the metal, which is not possible. Wearing a ring on a necklace could rub away an engraving on a gold ring over time.
Which Type of Engraving is Easier to Read?
Laser engraving tends to be easier to read because the laser burns the metal, turning it darker, so it stands out more. However, that is not to say that a traditional engraving is hard to read. Traditional engraving is deeper, as it is carved into the ring, so depth makes it readable.