Seal , Crest or Coat Of Arms Research & Entitlement ?

Which part to engrave , the entire design, crest , or shield

Colledge Of Arms supplied hand drawn Coat of arms

Many thanks to my client who has allowed me to use his own Coat Of arms to produce these pages.

The correct way to to research your heritage and be granted a Coat of Arms , or to find out if one has been granted which you are entitled to use would be to contact " The Colledge Of Arms" and the example here is the artwork provided to him by The Colledge Of Arms at considerable expense.

Hand drawn by a scribe it is blatantly immeditely clear that the standard of the detail and artwork is far superior to the majority of images we as professionals are asked to work from, mostly downloaded from the internet.

Being engraved relatively small onto ladies signet rings and a pair of cufflinks , removing the medal below was to save space making the other detail as big as possible and stretching the design wider to fill the full surface of a round signet ring or cufflinks using artistic license is often adviseable.

On a tiny ladies signet ring ie, 11mm x 9mm oval some of the finer detail, especially the moto will be to small to read and , although still engraved as often considered important may be best left off.

Alternatively it may be better to engrave just the shield with the owls or more traditionally just the dragon.

The crest is the 3 dimentional image above the Helmet

In combat a knight would be identified from his shield baring the full Coat Of arms , about 3 feet tall, trying to engrave all of that on a tiny 11mm x 9mm signet ring face is possible but is not the norm.

The majority of what we call "Crest Rings" will have a larger version of the crest in this case the dragon holding a flame on its torse (rope below) engraved in 3D will produce a nice clear positive impression in hot wax when engraved by an experienced and skilled hand engraver, BUT, may in the ring face look little more than a deep  hole with lines carved into it. designed for a purpose, not to look at and admire.

The technique I use is a little different if the engraving is left matt, rather than shiny, the design becomes clearer in the face of the ring easier to admire in every day wear. Alternatively I can enhance the engraving making it look more like traditional hand engraving. Crest usually reversed so wax impression is not.

Advising the customer to print out their  full coat of arms on paper actual ring size is a good start.

The process from image to finished engraving

First that buitifully drawn image needs to be re drawn on a computer using vector graphics, as the Colledge Of Arms as of yet do not provide vector graphics. Artwork needs to be drawn in a very particular way in order for it to work, Seldom are other peoples vector graphics suitable, i can try, but i will not edit them.

Vector graphics will not display in a website the image here is a black on white bitmap copy.

Imported into my laser software there is then a repititive process of test engraving into brass to get each part of the design to look at its best and the correct settings to either reverse the design and engrave as a seal, or engraved as per the image supplied " for show" which is clearer to view on the face of a ring etc.

Once satisfied with the results, the ring, cufflinks pendant etc is engraved with the final design.

Next the laser engraving is enhanced using rotary tools and burnishers, polished and cleaned.