Engraving lockets and jewelry: can my piece be engraved?
A brief overview on the types of jewelry that can be engraved.
The art of engraving goes back to the Stone Age, where cave men etched their art on rocks, pottery and cave walls. As time went by, engraving became the highest form of mastery an artist could achieve.
Jewelry was first created for adornment, an outward show of status and prestige, often times embedded with gemstones or imitations. Adding an engraving to the piece added beauty and meaning; making the jewelry more treasured and prized.
Today, engraved jewelry is very affordable. If you buy your locket or other jewelry from a reputable jewelry store, they can tell you immediately if the object is engravable. If you received your piece as a gift or purchased it elsewhere, there are a few simple rules to determining if it can be engraved.
Lockets made of very thin gold or silver cannot be engraved because their surfaces will collapse when hit with the engraver's tool. The same principles apply to very thin walled rings or other objects; the engraving tool can split the bands.
In order to be sure that your jewelry can be engraved, look for either solid gold, gold filled or sterling silver markings. Gold plated jewelry is generally too soft to withstand engraving.
Gold jewelry should be at least 14 karat gold and of a heavy enough production to be engraved. All gold jewelry is marked with a karat stamping, i.e., 10K, 14K, 24K, etc. Gold-filled jewelry has all the same features of Karat gold, only is generally similar in price to Sterling Silver jewelry. Both of these types of jewelry can be engraved providing the walls are thick enough.
Sterling Silver jewelry should have the mark '925' stamped somewhere on the piece. This means that the piece is at least 92.5% silver. An alternative marking is a walking lion with his leg raised. Known as the lion passant, it is an old form of silver marking. Pure silver is rarely used in jewelry making, as it is too soft. Silver jewelry purchased at craft shows or other places is often referred to as Mexican Silver. The silver content in these pieces are questionable and would require a jeweler to determine their suitability.
Once you have determined that your piece can be engraved, you next decision will be the font that will be used. On small spaces, such as lockets or inside ring bands, a block font generally works best. Flowery or script fonts tend to be unreadable. The exception to this would be if you wanted only a single initial on the front of a pendant. Then a script font would be perfectly acceptable.
For larger items, like ID bracelets, choose a font that goes along with the gender of the owner. A bold, block font is usually preferred my male wearers, while a nice script font works best for females.
If in doubt which font to use, talk it over with the jeweler engraving your piece, he or she will have the experience to know what type of engraving will look best on most items.
No matter what your sport is, your athletic shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment. From tennis to running, basketball to soccer, choosing the right athletic shoes for the right reasons can make a huge difference in keeping your feet and body healthy. Below you will find some of the things you need to consider when choosing shoes for your sport.
Style Is Not Everything Just about every day, someone asks me about their shoes. Questions vary from sport to sport, but the fact remains that the majority of people choose athletic shoes based on brand names and styles, rather than what is best for their own feet. I know that it can be hard to pass up those awesome looking shoes that match your uniform perfectly, but in the long run, the most important thing is that the athletic shoe serves its function...to support and protect your feet. So, lets take a closer look at what makes a good athletic shoe.
The Heel Box When I explain shoes to my patients, I always start with the heel box. This is where most people are similar in their needs. A sturdy heel box is essential to help control your rear-foot during athletic activities. The heel box is essentially the back third of the shoe, that surrounds your heel. Most athletic shoes have a heel box made up of leather, and some type of plastic or rubber reinforcement. However, not all athletic shoes are created equal. To test the heel box, try bending it over, or squeezing it in, and see how much resistance you encounter. If you can easily fold over the heel box, then chances are you will not get much support.
The Upper This is the area where most people make the mistake that causes injury. The "Upper" is the portion of the shoe that surrounds the foot. It is the upper portion of the shoe, from the heel box to the toe box. Uppers can be fashioned from all kinds of different materials, from mesh to leather, and other types of fabrics. Depending on your foot type, you may need more or less support from the upper. This portion of the shoe helps to control the mid and forefoot. Too much motion in these areas will allow for excessive stress through the meta-tarsals and tarsals, and can result in stress fractures, tendonitis, and other problems. To determine what type of foot you have, grab ahold of your foot with both hands, and move it around. Try moving individual bones around...do you find lots of motion, with little resistance, or is your foot very rigid, with little movement. You do not have to be an expert to tell if you have a flexible or rigid foot. Your athletic shoe should be opposite of your foot type. For rigid feet, you can get by with mesh or other light materials for the upper, as you need less support for your foot. For a flexible foot, you should lean more toward a rigid upper, that will control excessive motion and reduce stress.
The Arch Arch support is essential for good athletic shoes. Even people with good arches, or great feet mechanics should have sufficient arch support. But, arch support is more than just the arch. It is the way that the sole of the athletic shoe is created and constructed that determines the overall characteristics of the arch. And as far as those cushy insoles that they try to upsell you at the shoe store - pass on those as they just add comfort, not support. When choosing shoes, look closely at the sole of the shoe. A good arch support will be evident by the shape of the shoe. Notice the outline of the sole. There should be a minimal amount of change in width between the toe and the heel. The wider the athletic shoe is at the middle (where your arch is), the more surface area there is to support your foot. So, avoid shoes that start out wide at the toe, narrow way down in the middle, and then flare out again at the heel.
Change is Good Even the perfect athletic shoe will wear out over time. I have seen quite a few injuries due to old or worn out shoes. Just like any other equipment, you should monitor your shoes, and replace them when they wear out. If you are a runner, monitor your mileage, and replace them as appropriate. How do you know when to buy new shoes? Well, holes, or pieces falling off are generally good indicators...But if it is not that obvious, look for all of the qualities that you used to choose the athletic shoe in the first place. Is the heel box still sturdy? Is the upper as rigid as it needs to be to control your foot? Is the arch still in good shape, or have you worn down one side of the sole? Answer these questions, and inspect your shoes often to keep them protecting your feet.
Summary Good athletic shoes do not have to be flashy, or expensive to serve their intended purpose. There are lots of shoes out there that will fit both your needs and your budget. Look for all of the right qualities to fit your foot, and you are sure to make a wise decision. And when in doubt? Discuss shoe wear with other athletes, and the sales person at the shoe store. Chances are they have some good insight.
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