Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Signing Pieces



To be brief my question is does anyone know if there is a way to
sign a piece after it is finished? Obviously not a stamp. More and
more I am having customers who are disappointed that my pieces are
not signed.

Thanks, Grace in Cleveland


Hello Grace,

Of course it will depend a bit on the look you want from your
signature. There are several different ways to achieve an engraved
signature, and I’m sure you will receive many good ideas on ways to
go about signing your pieces from the Orchid Community!

However one simple and economic way to sign your name, and perhaps
add a title, and date etc… to your piece, after it is completed,
is with an electric engraver.

I often use a “Dremel” Electric Engraver, with a basic vibrating
carbide tip. They run about $20.00 U.S and you can order them from
several suppliers, such as Stuller, Rio, etc… Rio Grande has them
on page 269 of their 2003 catalog. You might even be able to buy
them at a hardware store?

Best Regards
Sharon Scalise


Why so obviously not a stamp? that’s the usual way to do it. Best
of course if done during the process of making the piece, so as not
to repeat finishing steps, but it’s often not that difficult to stamp
a finished piece and find a way to do it so only minimal repolishing
is then needed. Supporting the work in shellac is one way to
minimize the distortion. One method of particular note is to have a
stamp made by Microstamp. they offer a variety of stamp where the
impression end is unusually sharp, and the stamps are intended to
used with just hand pressure, not a hammer. You just press the stamp
into the metal, perhaps rocking slightly. It produces a clear,
though not deep, mark, with no distortion from impact or mark off on
the other side, if you’re careful.

Another common way to “sign” work, especially after it’s finished,
is a vibrograver. These are the common inexpensive types of
engravers sold at radio shack as well as through jewelry suppliers.
Get one with a carbide or diamond tip. Set the impact to fairly low,
and using, if you need, a loupe, simply sign the work, same as you’d
do with pencil and paper. With a little practice, you can sign your
name quite small, and clearly. Not quite a crisp as a stamp will do,
but it has the advantage of being personally signed, which some
people like.



Hi everyone I am a lurker learning a lot. This is something that I
can give a suggestion about (finally). I do fancy beadwork necklaces
out of gold or silver beads 2mm and delicas with semi-precious
stones. I sign my pieces by using gold or silver tags they can be
bought at Rio or most indian jewelry suppliers, that I attach with a
jump ring to the finished piece. I use an engraving tool to sign the
tag. Hope this helps.

Desta Marbury
Desmirada Designs
Gallup, NM


How about using a scribe? Or a diamond tipped pen (I think Gesswein
still carries those)? Or how about a sharp graver? How about
anything that scratches metal? Or you could cut out your signature
in metal and have it cast and attach it to everything? Or you could
use chasing tools?

I know there are many newbies on the list and there are many people
who need to have clear directions for stuff but don’t any of you just
go in and play in your shop?

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140



I have a diamond pointed scribe that I use to sign all my pieces
with my name and a two digit year. That way, there will be no
question about who and when! Got the point from Micro Mark for about

I not only sign my metal pieces, I sign all the stones and any
carvings I do. I find a nice place on the back somewhere near the
girdle and write it with the diamond scribe. Been doing this for
about 5 years now.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


a metal scribe that can be held like a pen works somewhat ok for
this. The sig is very shallow and might wear down after a long time
in soft metals. hand engraving it would be a better choice IMHO, but
does take some practice and sharpening equipment.

Hope that helps


Yea, you make the tag up, and cast a lot, solder them on? , unless
it needs to stay hardened, then punch. Or include in the mold, and
it’s on the cast piece?


Hi everyone,

While some are just too small to permit it, I sign my pieces
wherever possible with initials, date, and type of metal. I use a
scriber. Experience has taught me that the point should be not only
sharp but also as uniformly rounded as you can get it. (Use 1500 or
so grit sanding paper and twirl the scriber while sanding the tip.)
If the tip is not rounded, has flats on it, even minute ones, it’ll
tend to want to track off in a direction of its own rather than
where your hand wants it to go. Lubricating the piece with olive oil
or similar also makes it easier to control the scriber.

Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

I know there are  many newbies on the list and there are many people
who need to have clear directions for stuff but don't any of you just
go in and play in your shop?

Daniel: You are sooo right. My very first instructor in
fabrication told us that we should make it a habit from the very
beginning to dedicate at least an hour or more each week to what he
called an “Aha” experience. Have no goal to make anything specific.
Just PLAY. Melt metals of various kinds to see what happens, or how
long it takes, or exactly how it looks just before it melts. Twist
wire and hammer it, play with fusing, or try that “I wonder what
would happen if…” idea. I have come up with some of my best ideas
doing just this “aha” time, not to mention I learned a lot about
fusing doing this and learned what color silver (metal of choice)
was just before it was going to melt. I think everyone should give
themselves some free time each week to just play. It’s fun and
healthy and you just never know what you’ll produce.



Depending on the piece, I sign my name, the date of completion, etc.
in a variety of manners.

On rings, I usually stamp in my hallmark, karat marks etc. in a
place up towards the side or top 1/2 of the ring to allow for sizing,
engraving, etc. On my brooches, neckpieces, etc-- anything that might
be hollow-- I usually stamp whatever info I want onto a small sheet
of metal (cut or shaped to best compliment the area it is being
applied to) and solder this “tag” in place. Sometimes you need to
curve the sheet after stamping to fit, say, a tubular surface.

Another method I use, most often on earrings, where I don’t want the
added steps of applying a “tag”, I sign the piece with the same info
used above using a .4mm round or ball bur in my flex shaft. Since I
use a Techno X handpiece it’s like writing with a fat pencil that
always wants to pull to the right. With a little practice and a
sharp bur it is a great way to sign a piece: No marring of the front
or back (if you’re careful), no solder clean up and no vibration.

Hope this helps,
Andy Cooperman


I hand sign all my pieces using a very sharp polished steel scribe.
It seems to give a better line than a diamond tip. Practice on
polished scrap metal, before you try it on a finished piece. I’ve
signed on sterling, 14k, 18k, 24k, and .999 Pt with no problems.

Karen Hemmerle
Boulder, Colorado


Hi there. Saw your letter on ganoksin site. Just a thought, I have a
book on Jewellery making by Carles Codina, and I love his idea of
soldering on a tag of metal with his name on it (though it might be
totaly impractical for you.) I have not thought this one through, but
I just liked the idea and how it looks. Cheers, Ruth.