What is Hand Stamped Jewelry?

Posted by Beth on Apr 05, 2021

Visitors to our site often ask questions about hand stamped jewelry. We thought this would be a good opportunity to give some answers!

What is Hand Stamping?

Hand stamping is a way of imprinting (debossing) letters, numbers and symbols into metal.

In traditional hand stamping, the artist will position a metal die above the metal and strike it with the hammer, pushing it down into the metal, and leaving an imprint of the end of the die in the metal.

For example, to hand stamp "Emma" into a silver charm, you'd need three stamps: "E", "m" (used twice, of course!), and "a".

One at a time, you'd line up a die, and strike it with the hammer to deboss the letter into the charm.

In the end, the result is based on the experience, skill, & care taken by the artist.

Look for finished jewelry that has the lettering placed in a visually pleasing way, with the letters nearly (but not quite perfectly!) spaced & aligned. This gives the piece its handcrafted, organic & personal feel.

Fun fact: This is how the winning teams in the NHL have their names added to the Stanley Cup!

Will the Hand Stamped Letters Fade or Wear Off?

Nope! They are deeply stamped into the metal, and they'll stand up to many years to wear.

What's the Difference between Hand Stamping and Engraving?

Engraving involves removing metal to create the words or images. For example, traditional hand engraving involves using a cutting tool to precisely scrape metal away from an object, leaving the words or patterns desired.

Stamping, by contrast, doesn't remove metal. Instead, the artist will use a hammer and a set of specific metal stamps to create depressions in the metal to create the words, dates, patterns, images, etc.
These depressions are usually darkened to create a stronger contrast with the surrounding metal, so that the the message that's been stamped stands out more clearly.