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Ask the engraver: Engraving tips for urn charms and photo engraved pendants

We sat down with Carre, our master engraver, to ask her some of our most commonly asked questions about engraving urn charms but also to get some tips on how our customers can get the most out of their engraved pendant.

Carre has been working for Jewelry Keepsakes since 2010and her focus has been strictly on engraving. She oversees all the engraving on our cremation jewelry and is our primary engraver for photo engraved pendants.

Text Engraving

Jewelry Keepsakes: What are the most popular text engravings that customers ask for on their keepsake?

Carre: I would say the most popular is ďAlways In My HeartĒ. People put that a lot. And then the next popular would be the personís name, their birth date and their death date. Just the basic. Those are probably my most popular two.

Jewelry Keepsakes: Do you get requests for symbols? If so, is that something that you can do?

Carre: I do get requests for symbols sometimes and now that the phone age is overtaking everybody, Iím starting to get a lot of requests for the emoji. But I cannot do those. It depends on the size of the pendant really. I can do the shape of the heart, thatís really about it. I have done the infinity sign once. The pendants are so tiny that it makes the symbols so small that my engraving machine canít do it. It has a hard time doing symbols really clean. I can do hearts and thatís really about it just because the pendants are so small.

Photo Engraving

Jewelry Keepsakes: What is the most unusual photo engraving youíve done?

Carre: The most unusual is I have engraved the picture of a receipt from a restaurant. Thatís the most unusual I think.

Jewelry Keepsakes: When it comes to photo engraved pendants is there a minimum pixel requirement for the digital image?

Carre: Yes. We require a minimum of 400 pixels. Anything lower than that and the quality of the photo diminishes. Sometimes I can work my magic and make the photo work if itís like 390, 300 but I require 400. Just because it brings out the best qualities and details of a photo.

Jewelry Keepsakes: What if someone has two different images and they want all the people in both pictures on one pendant? Can you extract images and join them all together on one pendant?

Carre: Yes. I can crop out of different photos and put them all together in photoshop. I kind of crop out what I need and then I merge it all together and put it on one. So, yes, I can do that.

Jewelry Keepsakes: Can both sides of the pendant be engraved with a photo and if so, is there an additional cost associated with the additional engraving?

Carre: Yes, on most pendants. On our regular photo engraved pendants the answer is yes. The customer will be charged an engraving fee for the back if they want a photo on the back. So, say the pendant is $39.95 and that includes the photo on the front. And then we give them the text engraving option on the back which would be $14.99. If a customer calls and says ďI want my son on the front and my daughter on the back.Ē the son would be included in the $39.95 and then we would charge them $14.99 to put the daughter on the back. The only ones I canít do it on are the few cremation pendants that have a black enamel on the back. I cannot engrave a photo on the back of those.

Questions From Our Customers

Jewelry Keepsakes: What types of pictures are easiest to engrave?

Carre: A clear picture, no shadows, just something thatís clear where you can see the person or whatever it is that they want me to engrave. Shadows are really hard to deal with. If itís a crisp, clean photo, even if itís a little blurry, sometimes I can clean it up enough. The easiest ones are just a real clean, full on shot.

Jewelry Keepsakes: What types of pictures are the most challenging to engrave?

Carre: The dark ones, shadows on faces. Those are the hardest. I have to go in with a photo shop pen, pick out all the shadow and try to lighten it without distorting the picture. Itís tough.

Jewelry Keepsakes: What has been your favorite photo engraving?

Carre: Probably the photos of families. Those are my favorite. Just happy families all together. Those are great photos to do.

Jewelry Keepsakes: If you could give your customers one piece of advice when it comes to choosing their engraving what would it be?

Carre: On a photo, I would advise that you just try to find a nice clear straight on shot at whomever youíre looking at having engraved. Not dark, no shadows, sun shining behind them, just something basic. Those work out the best. For text, my advice would be that before you order you need to think about what you want engraved on it. Give it thought and make it meaningful to you. A lot of customers they call and say ďI donít know what to put.Ē If they gave it some thought like - that was my brother and what was meaningful to us. Itís easy to cookie cutter and say his name was this, his birthdate was this - and thatís fine. I think if they sat and thought about what they wanted, think about what was special between you and that person and then have something engraved, that makes it meaningful.