Are the pens engraved or imprinted?


A few weeks ago a customer received their  engraved pen and was under the impression that the pen they received was not engraved but imprinted with ink (or sometimes called stamped, painted,or printed).   
Their pen was laser engraved, and some understanding was all that was needed.   

But it gives us a good chance here to discuss how engraving works and effects the final appearance of the decoration on the pens.  

First, just to clarify, we do not even own printing or stamping equipment for decorating personal names, therefore we only decorate pens with personal names by our laser engraving machines.  There are no exceptions when it comes to personal names, they are all laser engraved.  They are never printed with ink.

When a laser beam hits the metal on pen, depending on metal alloy in the pen or depending on if the pen is a coated metal, the decoration can appear differently.  

Here are some general rules: 

If a metal pen is coated in color (like blue or black pen), the laser will cleanly 'burn' off the coating revealing the base metal under it.  The resulting color of the engraving is typically a gold, brass, or silver color depending on the base metal of the pen under the coating.  We do not choose this color, it is based on the base metal of the manufacturer.

 If a pen is 'bare' metal ( like a steel or Gold pen), the laser engraving will appear what we call tone on tone.  The contrast is a nice there, but it is more subtle.  Steel pens engrave in a light copper color generally.  Gold pens will show up a different shade of gold to a dark gray depending on the karat weight in the gold pen you choose.  We think that the tone on tone is a very classy, subtle look.  

A few pens like the Cross Edge are color filled.  This means it is engraved first with a deep grove and then manually filled with a color compound.   And there are a few pens that you may see a deep cut colored filled option available as an upgrade. 


In another post, we will outline in a list how the engraving looks on different pen styles.

We welcome any questions that will help us to explain this further so our fine customers can know how the final product will look.