Saturday, April 17, 2021

Inspiring inscriptions

Inscription “my love.” SUBMITTED PHOTO

Inscription “my love.” SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Richard Alan

Often times when I am accepting a repair or alteration, let’s say a ring sizing, especially an antique ring, I make a note to myself to be careful not to disturb the inside engraving it may contain. You would be surprised how many people are unaware that their inherited rings have engraving on the inside diameter.

A century ago, before we could call, beep, page, fax or e-mail or text someone, people actually wrote letters to each other. Often times separated by miles or oceans or a loved one could be away in some war in some strange country. This sounds so archaic. People in the last century also engraved the jewelry they gave to each other. Bestowing a piece of jewelry had a deeper meaning than it has now.

It could be a simple locket containing a photo and a touching inscription professing one’s love for another. Only last month a man in his thirties came in with a silver I.D. bracelet in dire need of restoring. His grandmother had given it to his grandfather in 1942.

His grandfather wore it the day he hit the beach on D-Day. He survived the war and wore it for more than half a century till the day he passed away. It was engraved with his name and rank on the front and his serial number on the back. It also said “don’t keep me waiting” love MKS. This is a very emotional piece of jewelry.

In addition I restored a Pearl Harbor survivor’s ring a couple of years ago. This also was engraved with name, rank and serial number. I have been seeing a revival in personal engraved jewelry. Most common is the boy’s and girl’s heads with the child’s name on the front and date of birth on the reverse.

  [/caption] src=”×300.gif” alt=”” width=”287″ height=”300″ />The masculine money clips with monogrammed initials are more popular than ever. We have engraved almost every set of wedding bands the past couple of months, not to mention wedding cake knives and servers. People are still getting married?

Many years ago I kept my personal hand engraver very busy. Sadly he passed away over ten years ago. Mr. Kelly was an exceptionally talented hand engraver and his art died with him and he is surely missed. Just try to find a talented hand engraver these days!

Today most engraving is done by machine, the etching is done by a mechanical diamond tip or even by a computer guided laser beam. I am now using a state of the art computer engraving system that is so close to hand engraving it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference.

To really make a special piece of jewelry even more meaningful have it engraved. My wife insisted on having mine engraved with our wedding date, to insure obviously I don’t forget our anniversary day!

Engraved medical alert bracelets and pendants are the norm here on Marco Island. Having important medical information on your person about allergies or the meds you are on can save your life in a busy E.R.

The unusual articles I have engraved are endless recently. I engraved a plaque for an aluminum baseball bat for a retired player here on the island, and just the other day a ship’s bell.

So you see, even today giving engraved jewelry can turn your words into gold that will last for centuries, leaving a treasured legacy.

“Do not hold as gold all that shines as gold.” Alain de Lille (d 1202)

Richard Alan is the owner of The Harbor Goldsmith and the Richard’s Reefs on Marco Island. He welcomes any questions you may have about all that glitters. 239.394.9275 or  harborgoldsmith@com


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