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The Revival Of Jewelry Engraving

With the advances of milling technology, jewelry hand engraving seemed to have become a dying form of art. The arrival of advanced engraving machines, have reduced the need for the traditional artisan skills of handcrafted jewelry making. The 20th century has presented several mechanical methods of incising ornamental patterns on metal objects. Hand engraving in general was gradually replaced with roll stamping machines which were able to transfer a design by impressing a die onto a metal surface. These machines enabled the mass production of engraved items in a capacity which the artisan could never compete with.

Roll stamping was supplanted by advanced milling pantographs which eventually transformed into today’s computer operated machines. With These computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools, the movement of the milling cutter is controlled with information fed from computer files, generated by computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs.

Despite the ability to create quick and affordable jewelry pieces from banks of computer generated designs, the need for handmade jewelry continues to prevail. Uniquely handcrafted jewelry pieces serve as an authentic alternative to the cold precision of machine made artifacts. Furthermore, the artisan’s ability to produce a limited number of items insures the exclusivity of his jewelry creations.

During the early seventies hand engraving finally saw a revival with the release of James B. Meek “The Art of Engraving” which gave artists a comprehensive overview of hand engraving techniques. At the end of his book, Meek mentions the arrival of a new hand engraving device called the “Gravermeister”, a pneumatic freehand engraving tool which replaced the classic hammer & chisel method. Today’s hand engraving machines are able to produce thousands of strokes per minute allowing the artisan to meticulously cut and carve original jewelry designs. Yoni Veizman’s handcrafted diamond jewelry is hand engraved under a microscope with the use of a modern GraverMach; this combination enables Yoni to produce the beautifully handmade rings, earrings and pendants that are featured on Veizman.com.