How to Remove an Engraving From Your Jewelry
Annabelle / April 30, 2020
While it’s fun to engrave an item, what happens when you’re no longer in love with the inscription? You can get it removed! However, it’s not an easy process and the procedure differs from item to item. Here’s what you need to know in order to remove an engraving.
How Is Jewelry Engraved?
To understand how to remove an engraving, you need to know how the engraving is applied.
Typically, most engravings are done via laser engraving, which carves the engraving into the surface of the metal. When you touch the engraving, you can feel a difference between the engraved metal and the surrounding metal.
Other engravings are created in a “spray-paint stencil” like manner, and this is typically found on color-coated stainless steel jewelry. The item is “engraved” with an inscription that is created by covering the metal with the desired letters while the jewelry is coated. This creates a color contrast between the plain metal and the coated metal, allowing you to view the inscription.
Removing an Engraving
To remove an engraving, a jeweler has to laser the metal at the area of the engraving, blasting it to level out the texture of the metal. Once this is done, the jeweler polishes the item and restores it to a smooth, blank surface.
While this procedure is fairly easy to do with metals such as sterling silver, gold, platinum, and stainless steel, this becomes much trickier with gold or silver plated items. This is because gold and silver plated jewelry vary from high quality to low quality material underneath the plating, and the engraving removal process will take off the plating. In order to restore the look of the item, the jeweler has to replate the piece.
This becomes more problematic when the metal underneath the plating is not conducive to any metalwork. Cheap costume jewelry metals that contains zinc, lead, or pewter do not react well at all to lasering or polishing, and may even disintegrate in the process. If your item is gold plated, the jeweler will inform you that there is a possibility the jewelry will be affected by the process and you need to confirm before they proceed with the work.
Finally, items such as tungsten, ceramic carbide, and titanium are near-impossible to polish out due to the nature of the metal. If you have an engraving on these materials, consider it permanent as any attempt at polishing will result in scuffing and even massive porosity as holes start appearing in the material.
Cost and Turnaround Time
Removing an engraving is the same price as your average polishing, and it starts at $21 depending on the material of your item. This can usually be done same-day, except for stainless steel which takes about 3-5 days to process.
Now you’re all set on how to remove an engraving! If you have something you want to erase, comment below and we can help you get started.