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A man was watching me engrave an item and looking at my display table and suddenly asked “Why does anyone get something engraved?”  I noticed he had a tattoos, so I asked him why does anyone get tattoos?  He said that his tattoos have a special meaning to him. 

I explained not everyone is into tattoos but they have a item and design that has a special meaning to them as well.  After that he kind of grinned and said “I guess I can understand that.”

Some people may not want to get tattoos on their body so they have called engraving “property tattoos.”

The basic reason for getting engraving done is the same for reason people like tattoos.  Usually when someone has something engraved the item and design have a special meaning for them. 

One reason people have engraving done is for special gifts.  They want to give something that was different and show that person they care.  For someone to take the time to have something engraved shows that they put extra thought into the gift.

Special gifts  One customer asked me to engrave a guitar tailpiece for his son as a Christmas gift. He chose one of my patterns and had his son’s name engraved on it.   He said he wanted to give his son something different and really mean something that he would not receive from just anyone.

Enhancing   Other times customers have an item that they like but just want spruced up a bit.  A knife maker handed  me a knife that he wanted some scroll work engraved on the copper bolsters to enhance the look of the knife.  The knife was a nice looking knife so I engraved a design that would complement the knife and not take away from the overall beauty of the knife itself.

Awards and presentations  Other times clubs want something engraved to present as awards.  I recently finished engraving brass side plates on 2 Henry rifles for the Next Generation Sportsman club to present at their annual banquet.  They wanted their name on them and since this was a special event they also requested a scroll work design to compliment the look of the rifles. 

In Remembrance  I engraved a motorcycle windshield for a man and he chose a heart and banner design.  In the banner he wanted me to engrave the words in memory of and then a name.  He went on to explain that a little while back that he had a heart transplant and the name in the banner was the donor of the heart that saved his life.  He wanted the design as a reminder and  respect for that individual and his family.  Since he loved to ride his motorcycle he thought that would be a good place for the design. 

One of my favorite items I engraved was a mirror for a friend of mine‘s mom in remembrance of her husband who had passed away.  He had a favorite poem he quoted to her and it had special meaning for both of them.  I engraved the mirror with the poem on it with a rose design because roses were their favorite flower.  My friend’s mom  loved the mirror and has it hanging up in a room where she can always see it.  She says every time she sees that mirror with the poem she in some way feels close to him.

Distinctive   Sometimes people want  engraving done  to make their item different from everyone else‘s.  I engraved motorcycle windscreen with an eagle/skull design engraved.  He said there were a lot of motorcycles out there just that look like his and he wanted his motorcycle to stand out from the crowd. 

Identification  People items engraved for identification purposes.  A lady wanted her desert bowl engraved with her name so she could easily tell it apart from the rest when she goes to different functions.

A man wanted his ivory pistol grips engraved with his initials so he could easily identify from the rest of his friends pistols since they all have the same type of pistol.

Themes  Some people want something engraved that goes with theme of their house décor or certain company brand.  One customer was from New Mexico and her house is decorated in Native American / Southwestern.  She wanted something that would go along with that style.  Some items I have already engraved a design on.  This particular item was a wood plate with a southwestern style design and fit right in with her home.

Another customer rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle and requested eagles engraved on the mirrors because eagles are one symbol associated with Harley Davidson 

Self Expression There are times that it is hard to say exactly what you feel.  Having something engraved can say it for you.  One of  my best selling  items is a love poem platter. 

I’m learning that there are many reasons people decide to get custom engraving done.  What ever the reason, custom engraving gives special meaning to any item.

Penny Graham
Why Have Something Engraved?