Waterman Exception Ballpoint pen with Charles Dickens' signature engraving on top of a Classic copy of the book A Christmas Carol

If you already know what a signature engraving is, you're either curious about whether it's a good option or are looking for ideas on what to get and how.

Either way, welcome to one of my most favorite types of personalization.

I love handwritten engraving. I love it on jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, rings... I love it on pens and journals....heck, I'd love it in sterling silver or gold.

In this article, I'll share with you why I love it and give you some helpful tips on what to get.

Let's jump right in!

The Ultimate Uniquely Personalized Gift

You might be thinking...isn't engraving already unique?

Sure it is. The act of engraving itself takes an ordinary object like a pen and makes it something personal. But most of the engravings you will come across have specific proprietary fonts.

The joy of a handwriting engraving is that it takes a piece of you or your loved one's actual handwriting and immortalizes it on an object.

The Principle of Individuality basically states that no two people doing the same physical action will have completely the same results given enough time. This is particularly true of handwriting and ultimately means that no two handwritings are exactly the same. (This is where the process of Handwriting Analysis comes from.)

Because of this, handwritten engraving means that each piece of handwriting you have engraved will be unlike any other.

It is truly special, customized to each person.

Perfect for Memorial and Sympathy Gifts

Now I am going to share a personal experience I had when I was an engraver for Dayspring Pens.

One day, a customer called to order 6 pens with a handwriting engraving. He said that his mother had just passed away and he wanted to give a pen with her signature engraved on it to each of his siblings at the funeral.

I don't know if pens had a special significance to their family or if the customer just wanted a gift that had a functional purpose, but either way the end result was a little memory of their mother they were able to encounter every day.

Memorial gifts help us to remember loved ones who have passed and keep that reminder with us.

Imagine having your father's handwritten message "I love you" or a partner's note of encouragement. It is the best kind of sentimentality. The kind that keeps us grounded in the people who form us.

A Permanent Keepsake

The really nice thing about engraving is that it is permanent, it doesn't fade with time or scratch off. (I mean if someone wanted to take a file and really work at the engraving it would scratch off, but you know what I mean!)

Engraved handwriting makes any item a personalized keepsake forever.

This is exactly why you see so much handwriting on jewelry like a wedding ring or inside bracelets. A message can be handwritten into an item that you will keep forever.

You can even add an engraving to a piece you already have, like your grandmother's ring or your grandfather's watch making a generational gift unique to the one you love.

I personally used handwriting engraving for a keepsake for my husband when we had our first child. For his first Father's Day, I engraved a Waterman Hemisphere Rollerball with Happy Father's Day and a little stick figure of a baby.

Handwritten "Happy Father's Day" engraving

Now that we are expecting baby #2, I am going to keep the tradition going by adding an engraved stick figure baby to the pen with every child we have.

As Intimate or Professional a Gift as You Want

Maybe you aren't looking for a special message engraved in your handwriting expressing your undying love on a heart-shaped necklace your grandmother saved on her perilous journey on the Titanic.

Don't feel like handwriting engravings are off the table for your gift giving needs.

Engraved handwriting can be an incredibly professional gift as well as a thoughtful one.

Another name for engraved handwriting is signature engraving. You can easily have the signature of a retiring boss or co-worker without the gift coming across as oddly personal, especially if using their signature is a large part of their profession ie: lawyers, doctors, CEOs, notaries...

The key to using handwritten engraving for a professional gift is in 1.) the gift you choose and 2.) the message you have engraved.

If buying for a coworker, boss, client, or a graduate, consider purchasing something like a pen, a journal, or a desk set. You will want a gift that communicates functionality and luxury without the intimacy of something like jewelry (unless your boss has an insane collection of gold necklaces. To each their own.)

I would also recommend moving away from a personalized message as the engraved handwriting and stick more with signatures.

Don't have their signature?

Signatures from the Past

What about having the signature of someone's most loved author or favorite founding father? Think of who inspires them or who they remind you of and engrave that signature.

Any signature of a historic figure over 50 years old is considered public domain. This means that you do not have to have copy write permission to use the signature so an engraving company would be able to engrave it.

Some engraving companies might already have certain signatures ready for engraving so there would be no additional fees for the work. Contact your engraver to see what might be available.

Here are some examples of really awesome Historical signatures that are available in the Public Domain:

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens' signature

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald's signature

Fredrick Douglass

Frederick Douglass' signature

George Washington

George Washington's signature

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton's signature

Marie Curie

Marie Curie's signature

Handwriting Jewelry, plaques, pens, and more!

The last reason I have for getting a handwritten engraving is the sheer variety of options available.

You can become the ultimate thoughtful gift giver whether you are getting Christmas gifts for your mailman or your daughter.

Here are some ideas:

  1. A Ring
  2. Necklaces
  3. Bracelets
  4. Ear Rings
  5. Journals
  6. Leather bound Books
  7. Pens
  8. Clocks
  9. Watches
  10. Plaques
  11. Desk Sets
  12. Bourbon Glasses
  13. Decanters
  14. Cutting Boards
  15. Picture Frames
  16. Travel Mugs

No matter who your recipient is, you can find the perfect personalized gifts for them.

Tips for Getting Engraved Handwriting

Here are just a few tips to help you get the most when you engrave handwriting gifts:

Tips for handwriting engraving info graphic

Make sure to write with dark ink against a white surface.

A fine point black felt tipped pen on unlined paper works great

Avoid lined paper.

The lines may make it difficult for the engraver to properly render your custom handwritten engraving.

Note additional fees.

Personalized handwriting engraving often has an additional fee since it requires extra work and precision.

Engrave a little doodle or child's drawing.

Handwriting engravings don't have to just be writing. They can include little simple drawings as well. Imagine gifts of jewelry with your son's drawing of the family for Mother's Day.

Find fun pairings.

Think outside the box for a fun gift pairing that will be great keepsake.

  • A cutting board with your aunt's famous chili recipe
  • A cocktail shaker with a custom drink you made for your recipient
  • A unique copy of a book with a pen engraved with the author's actual handwriting
  • A piece of handwriting jewelry in an engraved keepsake box

Waterman Expert ballpoint pen with signature engraving

Conclusion

I think you'll be hard pressed to find personalized gifts more unique, more custom than those engraved with handwriting.

Whether you are buying a piece of handwriting jewelry like sterling silver necklaces engraved with your grandfather's favorite phrase or a luxury pen featuring your boss's signature, it is the perfect personalized gift addition.

Do you have any handwritten engraving ideas or gifts ideas? Share them and your thoughts in the comments below!