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HAND-CUT VERSUS MACHINE CUT

The Jeweler's Bench by Trademark hand-cut their letters.

More and more common today are ultra-light bracelets at unbelievable prices, many with unlimited letters. These pieces, more likely than not, contain machined-cut letters. They are cut into the bracelet with a spinning spindle leaving a deep smooth "V" shape cut in the bracelet. Because the operator exerts no energy in cutting the name, little if any attention is paid to the depth of the cut, meaning the capital or taller lower-case letters going from one side of the bracelet's edge to the other leaves a weakened spot with two-thirds of the metal removed. Unfortunately, as the bracelet is worn and bumped, it is at this spot the first enamel will come out.

The hand-engraver, on the other hand, has to rely on touch, vision, and controlled pressure to cut the letter and as such, no unnecessary metal is removed. The hand-engraver removes the letter surface following the contours of the bracelet, leaving equal depth throughout. The sides are straight up and down, not tapered, leaving a nice straight wall to hold the enamel in place. When the hand-engraver has gotten the depth required to hold the enamel in place, he then walks (wriggles) his engraving tool through the recessed areas, creating a textured finish for the molten glass enamel to adhere to. It takes four times longer to cut a name by hand than it does to cut it on a machine.

Take another look at Auntie's Hawaiian Heirloom jewelry. You will see that the surface is indeed cracked and scuffed from years of quality wear, but it hasn't come out, thanks to the effort and craftsmanship of the hand-engraver that kept the enamel where it belongs - - in the bracelet and not on the floor.

For More information: Glass Enamel Vs Epoxy

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