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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Engraving

The technique of decorating the surface of a hard material (e.g. metal or a gemstone) from the front by incised lines, characters, patterns, portraits. etc., cut into the surface. When the decoration on a gemstone is so made, it is an intaglio.

Engraving on gold was done from the third millennium BC, with crude tools of flint, bronze, copper and later iron; in Germany in the 15th century it was done with a dry-point needle.

In modem times engraving is done by hand by means of a sharply pointed steel tool (called a burin 01 graver) while the metal is held on an engraver's block. Craftsmen skilled in calligraphy have done engraving of monograms and inscriptions.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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