What is so different about hand-engraving and the engraving the stores do? Why would anyone need hand-engraving for this kind of personalization?”
Here’s the reason. There are several kinds of engraving machines in stores. One is the old style where little blocks of letters, in the customer’s choice of fonts, are lined up in a holder. Each letter block has the letter cut deeply into the surface. The operator then traces the letter with a stylus and a corresponding stylus transfers the letters to the surface of the bracelet, plaque, ring, or whatever.
The other, newer generation of engraving machines involve a computer-operated device that is programmed to etch the lettering into the object. But....the object must be able to fit the holding device attached to the computer. So many items needing personalization will not fit in either kind of engraving machine the stores have. That’s why we get a lot of our business from jewelry stores, kiosks in the malls, and even the stores in the malls who actively promote the engraving of items in their store.
Countless items that need personalization cannot be done in the traditional 'engraving' world. The ability to add it almost anything makes the hand-engraver the go-to person to fill that need. Fees can be way beyond those of typical engravers in jewerly stores, specialty stores, and kiosks in malls.