Laser Engraving FAQ  Misconseptions On Jewellery

Laser engraving is now a viable option for deep reverse crests engraving !

everyone says "the right way to engrave a crest is by hand"  but i am offering a cheaper quicker alternative

First things first ! you can buy a cheap laser  " Galvo Fiber " engraving machine from China for around £3,000.00 (as of 2016)

Or you can buy a state of the art machine designed specifically for jewellery from around £25,000 up to £125,000

Question : Will  all laser engraving machines provide the same results. (answer relates only to YAG fiber machines NOT plotters)

Answer : Yes they probably will, it is more a question of the software and the skill of the operator, cheaper machines might no be quite as precise & less power = takes longer to engrave.

Question : Will all laser engraving be shallow (ie) not last long

Answer : Lasers can only engrave on average to a depth of 0.02mm on a single pass , engrave it 50 times = 1.00mm but it takes 50 times as long !

Question : All the laser engravings I have seen look black , is this always the case

Answer : No , some technitions leave it black to contrast but in silver it should be matt white ,  9ct yellow gold rusty brown , 18ct yellow matt yellow

Question : Does this mean all engravings look matt , unlike a seal engraving done by hand which look bright & shiny

Answer : This again is dependant on skill of the operator , I personally enhance my crest engravings by hand after removing from the machine, this takes on average 20 or 30 minutes per crest and does require total concentration and a considerable amout of experience

Will All laser engravings (ie) Crests look the same ?

Again this is more a question in relation to the operator rather than the type or quality of machine

Question : I have been told it is easy to convert an image with editing software is this true

Answer : Yes programs like Corel Draw & Adobe Illustrator have an auto trace function ( Example at bottom of page )

Question : In your website you say that you re draw each design in vector graphics why

Answer : Converted images or engraving from a bitmap will only create a single level engraving

Question : Does that mean you can not engrave a 3 dimensional image like a seal engraving by laser

Answer : Yes you can, it requires an image drawn in a very specific way in vector graphics , this is a very precise way of drawing and takes on average between 4 to 6 hours for each crest or coat of arms. ( I reserve the right to re use every drawing for my own purposes )

Alternatively some of the most expensive laser engraving machines £60,000 and upwards will use 3D CAD images 

If It Takes so Long to laser Engrave Why Not Hand Engrave ?

Question : OK so if it takes 4 to 6 hours to draw in vector graphics , surely it would just be easier to hand engrave instead

Answer : Hand engravers are artist's first & Engravers second , I am not able to draw a crest design onto the metal with a scriber let alone engrave it

Question : That does not make sense as you can draw with a computer in vector graphics , why

Answer : I am not actually drawing free hand (designing) with a computer , I am  tracing over the drawing provided by my client , almost dot to dot

Question : Are there any other benefits to laser engraving or should i just employ a hand engraver like Rebus or Dexter

Answer : Hand engravers tend to either (A) refuse to do trade work as they have enough of theire own (B) charge about £60.00 per hour

Answer : Not all hand engravers produce the same standard of workmanship , Rebus quote about £300.00 and are about the best , if less then ?

Answer : I reserve the right to re use every drawing , If you rejuest I do not , I will then charge the same as hand engravers £60.00 per hour

Are there any other major benefits to laser engraving?

Question : What if any are the other benefits to me as a customer of having my family crest or Coat of arms seal engraved by you

Answer Price : If you are having just one crest or coat of arms engraved (AS A SEAL) I should be about 40% cheaper than a hand seal engraving

Answer Quantity : If you are having 2 or more identical engravings done in one order (DAY) the second one will be considerably cheaper

Answer Repeat Orders : Return at a later date for a matching engraving or another item (ie) a pendant it will be about 30% less than the first engraving

Answer Time  : Hand engravers tend to be so over subscribed with orders often quoting 6 or 8 weeks ( Engraving with a sale ) my average turnaround is two weeks , ( if you send your own ring ) average turnaround 3 weeks , my own sales and trade get priority at all times.

Question : Are the above turnaround times guaranteed

Answer : No , always telephone or email before ordering if urgent , I am semi retired and I take regular and extensive hollidays & " Christmas ! "

Image From Internet

lion image for crest engraving

Image supplied by customer downloaded from the internet.

Once converted all the detail merges together and is not very distinct , 

Auto Trace Result

Auto traced in corel draw , the engraving machine will engrave everything that is black , all at the same depth, basically engraving a picture of a family crest.

Wax Impression 

A wax impression taken from a gold signet ring

Wax impression taken directly from a customers signet ring , family heirloom. As you can see each part of the engraving is at different depths , not all one level

Vector Graphic drawing

Vector graphic drawing ready to import into laser engraving machine

Unfortunately vector graphics can not be viewed in my website , but as you can see a far more precise drawing with a different colour for each depth of engraving.