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You may know the brand. Baccarat is French crystal. Elegant. Heavy. Very expensive.

Quite often their brand of something comes to me; I have one thick-walled vase from 2004 that should have gone home with the customer. Instead, after my goof, I had the mind-numbing experience of buying a replacement and engraving the message again. Correct, the second time. It was a $600. mistake that I was privileged to purchase at a great discount because the firm referred many of their customers to me. My mistake was the omission of one letter in a last name.

This sailboat was two grand, the customer told me. That was 7 years ago, so it's several hundred dollars more now, you can bet. I remembered the vase and went into super-concentration mode when the sailboat was on my pillow.

The layout process was the same as always. I decided where I wanted the last line to be and began there. Worked my way up, knowing there would be only four lines with the name spaced a bit higher above the next line, than spaces between following lines.

I used a brand new #3 round carbide with no spelling issues. You'll know when you can do the work and accept expensive pieces. The problem with your work at that point will be the same as the rest of us who have lots of experience. Highly unlikely you'll mess up a letter or foul the layout so bad as to ruin it. It will be misspellings and omissions.

The customer was pleased with the work and fee. I charged $275. for the job....for about 30 minutes of drafts and engraving, so I was going in slow motion. A good rule of thumb, when you're ready to accept expensive items, is to quote at least 10% -20% of the item's value. Remember, if you screw it up, you own it.


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