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Custom Hand Engravings

Hand engraving is the age-old art of carving letters or designs into precious metals with a hardened, shaped, and sharpened piece of steel, called a graver. Our engravers have spent decades perfecting their artistic talents and are considered masters. Each and every detail is hand engraved to perfection, creating the perfect custom jewelry. Church and Company hand engraves Family Coat of arms, Corporate or School logos, Initials, Monograms, Tribute rings, cuff links, and pendents.  With hand engraving the possibilities are endless.  A Die struck Signet and Hand Engraving make the perfect gift to celebrate any occasion.


The History of the Coat of Arms

Since time began, man has used symbols for communication. Early man used cave drawings, and Chinese used chops. Often these symbols were used for identification of an individual or a tribe. Over time, the style and design of these symbols was refined to become the “Coat of Arms” as we know it today.

The development of the Coat of Arms dates back many centuries. In the Middle Ages, when a warrior or knight went to war or jousted in tournaments, his identity was often concealed by armor. In those times, a knight’s shield and weapons were his most important possessions. In order that each knight be identified from his fellow warriors, he would decorate his helmet, shield and breast plate with patterns, signs and emblems. The cloak or coat worn over his suit of armor was also decorated in the same manner, giving way to the name “Coat Of Arms” These decorations, or Coat of Arms, became a traditional part of a family’s identity and were passed on with pride to each succeeding generation. The Coat of Arms was also used to identify family belongings. A seal, made from a stamp of wood or metal with the Coat of Arms on it, was attached to correspondence and documents identifying the sender.

As time passed, warfare changed and warriors shed their armor in favor of more suitable clothing, however, the tradition of bearing the “Coat of Arms” continues to this day with the use of seals on certain types of correspondence. Today, State Seals consist of “Coat of Arms” indicating a mark of high office. Whether you prefer a traditional Coat of Arms engraving, an engraving of your profession or favorite past time, or just a simple monogram engraving… you will appreciate the fine quality of Church & Company signets rings. Each piece is Hand Engraved in the time honored tradition of excellence to provide you with fine jewelry destined to be an heirloom piece.

Church & Company signets are die struck, not cast. This means they are forged by precise steel dies, compressing the gold to its exact shape, and then finished by hand. This process, used by only the finest jewelers, creates a stronger piece that enables the engraver to produce a sharp, clear image.

The Elements of a Coat of Arms

CREST- The symbol or figure affixed to the top of the helmet. This shows the wearers family and served as a
               gathering point for his followers during battle.

SUPPORTERS- The human or animal figures that hold up the shield of the Coat of Arms are known as supporters.
               (Not shown)

HELM- the helmet on which the crest rests is known as the Helm. This varies according to the rank of the wearer.
               Caps, called CHAPEUX, were used for non-military social rank men, such as churchmen.

SHIELD- The shield is the heart of the Coat of Arms which portrays the individual. It must abide by the rules of
                heraldry and show, through several divisions, the close family of the wearer.

MANTLE-Mantle or Mantling is the cloak worn to protect against the sun. Artists often show the mantle with many
                slashes in it, which displays that the wearer, had fought in many battles.

MOTTO-The motto is usually in a ribbon at the bottom, which is used by the entire family. (Not all Coats Of Arms
               have a motto)

Hand Engraved Family Crest

Straight Up to Read

When the detail is facing to the left and you can read the motto or name.

Reverse to Seal

When the detail is facing to the right and the motto or name is backwards (reversed).

All of our engraving is done by master hand engravers. Our engravers can work from a wax, photo, or artwork provided. If you do not have art work, we can research a family name and provide a black and white line drawing for approval. The information needed to do a search is the proper spelling of the family name and the country of origin.

There are two ways to engrave a family crest. The traditional way is in “Reverse for Sealing”. When engraving in reverse all the detail faces to the right and if there is a name or motto it would read backwards. When a wax is made it would then be readable.

The other option is “Straight up to Read”. When a ring is cut straight up all the detail faces to the left, the name or motto would then be readable.

Crest engraving can be done two ways. Intaglio is where all the detail is cut down into the surface. This is the traditional way and the best way to protect the engraving. The other choice is Relief. This is when the background is cut away leaving the detail standing. With Relief engraving, wear could be an issue.

Our engravers have the ability to customize any engraving to your specifications.

Script Initials

Hand Engraved Script Initials

Script engraving has evolved from seventeenth and eighteenth century writings, using a quill or a metal nib of a pen to create fine and thick strokes. A Hand engraver uses a “graver” to re-create the fluid and graceful strokes into an elegant and stately monogram.

Modern Romanesque Initials

Hand Engraved Modern Romanesque Initials

The Modern Romanesque letters have a distinct styling and flair, with the idea of placing the main initial in the center, giving it the most prominence. This is a very popular style of monogram which can be hand engraved with the initials interlocked or side by side.

Old English Initials

Hand Engraved Old English Initials

Old English dates back 1000 years ago when it was a script used throughout Western Europe. The letters are highly decorated, utilizing angular forms, with thick and thin strokes and serifs. When beautifully hand engraved it gives the feeling of importance and authority.

Block Relief Initials

Hand Engraved Block Relief Initials

The block engraving is a masculine, simple, style of engraving which can be hand engraved in a couple of ways. Relief is when the background is cut away leaving the initials standing and is our most popular of this style of engraving.

Block Intaglio Initials

Hand Engraved Block Intaglio Initials

Intaglio is when the initial is cut down into the surface of the signet ring. Surface engraved block is when an outline of the initials is cut into the face of the signet ring and by request, antiquing can be added to the ring.

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