Unlike engraving, which typically uses a stylus to create the shapes, hand stamped jewelry is made by artists who use stamps that have the shapes carved out of them, much like stamps used for papercrafts.
An engraver uses a stylus to “write” the words and designs, much like using a pen. This can be done by either using a machine or by hand. While this does result in a very precise and exact look, the engraving is usually very light and is not deep enough to be darkened.
While there are some kinds of “machines” that are designed to help with the process, most hand stampers do not use a machine to stamp their pieces. Hand stamping is usually deeper into the metal, which makes it easier to read and lasts longer.
Darkening the stamped areas makes them stand out against the metal. This is especially true for silver pieces. On gold and rose gold, it is sometimes more preferable to leave the stamped areas “natural”. However, darkening or not darkening the stamping is a personal preference and depends on the artist’s or customer’s intention.
A mother can wear the names of her children, a college student can wear the coordinates of home, and a bride can have a ring with the date she got married. There are so many possibilities to create unique and meaningful pieces of jewelry with hand stamping. It’s an art form that will go on forever.