engraved wedding band
Jessica Jaccarino Photography

Wedding ring engraving is more than just an add-on offered by jewelry stores. Engagement rings and wedding bands are outward symbols of the commitment you and your partner have made to one another, and engraving your rings is one of our favorite ways to add secret meaning that only you and your partner know about. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right?

So whether you’re engraving a date, a message, or a code only the two of you will understand, here’s everything you need to know about wedding ring engraving.

What is the average wedding ring engraving cost?

Your wedding ring engraving cost will depend on a few factors, from whether you purchased your ring at the jewelry store to the style of engraving and the number of letters. “If you purchase your ring from James Free Jewelers, engraving is free. Otherwise it is a flat fee of $25.00,” says Michael Karaman, president of the Dayton, Ohio-based company. At Robbins Brothers, with locations in Arizona, California, Texas, and Washington, the fee varies. Says Dan Decker, customer care manager, “The cost will vary based on the type of engraving, the location of the engraving, and the metal that is being engraved. We charge $35 for in-house machine engraving, but also offer laser engraving, which begins at about $60 but will go up based on the detail and placement.” Laser engraving, you say? Continues Decker, “With laser engraving you can send in the font you want to use via a PDF — including your own handwriting! — and could also use a non-copyrighted image or your fingerprint.”

How long does wedding ring engraving take?

You won’t have to wait too long to get your totally custom ring from your jeweler. Says Kathryn Money, VP of Strategy and Merchandising at Brilliant Earth, “Wedding ring engraving is a fairly quick process that is done right after the ring is finished being made. It shouldn’t add any additional time to the expected delivery date.” Adds Decker, “Most machine engraving done inside the store will be ready for pick up within a day or two. Laser engraving is usually done outside of the store, and will take about two weeks.”

Are some metals a better fit than others?

Some metals are definitely better candidates for wedding ring engraving. “Gold and platinum are a great choice, as you can polish out any errors during the process,” says Karaman. “Tungsten, cobalt, and coated sterling silver are harder to engrave because any errors can’t be polished out.” If your ring is made of an alternative metal, Decker recommends opting for laser engraving instead of machine engraving. “The laser is more equipped to handle the metal’s hardness,” he explains.

How wide does the band need to be?

As you might expect, the thinner the band, the trickier it is to engrave (and the harder it will be to read what is engraved!). All of our experts agree that 2mm is the minimum band width for engraving, though 3mm is preferred.

How long can the phrase be?

The length of your wedding ring engraving will depend on the style of ring. “Some rings have holes drilled behind the diamonds, as well as trademark and metal stamps,” says Decker, “though you can ask to have those stamps removed to give you more space. Most rings can hold 15-20 characters, depending on the font. Block script is easier to read but takes up more space, while script looks great but may be harder to read.” Karaman adds that most couples opt for names, initials, and dates, which fit well within the character limit. “Remember, the stamps can’t be polished out of harder metals like tungsten,” he says.

Do engravings need to be touched up?

“Daily wear over time will slowly soften inscriptions, and some people do choose to have it touched up,” says Money. But since the engraving is on the inside of the band, that wear is much slower than on the outside. “The interior of the band is protected, so the engraving should last a long time,” says Decker. “However, if you take your ring off frequently or it spins, it may wear down more quickly.” Having your ring resized? You’ll have to have the engraving re-done. “The resizing may affect or remove part of the engraving,” says Karaman. Adds Money, “Resizing or refurbishing the ring can speed up the softening process of the metal, which could cause the engraving to wear down more quickly.”