Hand-engraving, step by step


gravure à la main étapes

Most websites offer automatic engraving using a milling cutter or laser. We also see websites boasting hand-engraving for marketing reasons, but in reality the process is not carried out by hand. Anything goes when it comes to fooling the customer!

Canale medals have been engraved in our workshop at 37 quai de l'horloge since the 19th century. Generations of engravers have worked here since 1827. Our philosophy is all about the art of creating something beautiful. We understand that personalised manual work bestows our medals with all the prestige associated with our name, recognised by many generations of loyal customers.

From manufacture to engraving

From manufacture to engraving, each hand-worked stage will provide your medal with unique charm and character as you wear it.

Hand-engraving is a delicate art. All our master engravers have their own style of writing. It takes a lot of time, practice and patience to acquire the dexterity required to work with such hard metals.

However, engraving is just the final stage. Meticulous marking is crucial in order to obtain high-quality engraving. Each Canale medal is marked out on the reverse side using a pencil followed by a fine metal tip. This marking is done by eye, as is the layout and spacing of each letter in the workspace represented by the medal. The line must be fine and flowing so that the engraver can then trace it using an extremely sharp scorper.

Step 1 : Marking using a pencil

Traçage au crayon

Step 2 : Marking using a tracer tip

Traçage à la pointe métallique

Step 3 : Burin (or scorper) engraving

We use intaglio type engraving, meaning it is incised into the metal. Once the letters are positioned and appear well-balanced with each other, we then move onto engraving straight onto the metal using scorpers known as burins and point gravers. Each engraver's tool has a specific shape for engraving straight onto the metal. They are round, flat or diamond-shaped, for engraving curves or straight lines.

The engraver needs a high level of concentration to engrave directly onto the metal using a scorper. With such minuscule surface areas, there is no room for error.

Gravure au burin