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Hand engraved signet rings vs. wax seal engraved signet rings - what’s the difference?

Hand engraved signet rings vs. wax seal engraved signet rings - what’s the difference?

If you’re considering a custom signet ring, you’ll need to decide on the type of engraving you would like.

At Benjamin Black we offer several different types of engraving, including laser engraving (2D and 3D), hand engraving and wax seal engraving.

In this article I’ll explain the two main types of hand engraving we provide for signet rings - hand engraving and wax seal engraving - so you can decide on the best option for you.

What is hand engraving?

As the name suggests, this type of engraving is produced by hand.

Our master engraver begins by sketching your insignia onto the surface, then uses special tools such as gravers or burins, which are small chisels used to cut into the metal.

The engraving itself is not as deep as wax seal, approximately 0.25-0.5mm deep, and produces a bright finish.

What is wax seal engraving?

This involves carving the design in reverse, so that the areas intended to be raised in the wax impression are recessed in the metal. Special engraving tools are used to carefully sculpt these reverse reliefs.

The primary purpose of wax seal engraving is functional rather than purely decorative. It allows the ring to be used as a seal for stamping documents or letters, a practice that dates back centuries. The resulting wax imprint features a raised design that mirrors the engraving on the ring.

Wax seal engraved signet rings used to have more of a functional purpose, however now many people opt for this style of engraving due to not only having the ability to use it as a wax seal, but also for it’s traditional look and feel.

How do they differ in price?

Wax seal engravings take more time, skill and precision to administer, therefore they are significantly more expensive than hand engraved signet rings. Current pricing for wax seal engraving at the time of writing this article is $1150 NZD (top only).

Hand engraving varies in price depending on the intricacy of your design, so we recommend requesting a quote from us prior to placing your order, however it at the time of writing this article, most of our hand engravings are approximately $500 NZD.

For more information about the different types of engraving we offer, including laser engraving, read this article.

If you’d like to discover more about creating your custom signet ring, get in touch with us - we would love to hear from you!


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