Master Hand Engraver John Franciscus Zonneveld
"Hand-Engraving on precious metals, and those who are still practicing this Art form are very rare, and hard to find even in some big metropolitan areas in the USA. But here in the old south the demand for this exclusive work is still in demand by many traditional families and organizations.
Most of the engraving today is done by computer, laser or air driven little hammers. But none of that work can be compared with the beauty of hand held gravers, tools that are made by the craftsman himself, they are steels that are shaped, angled, and sharpened to get the right and beautiful bright cut into metals such as gold, silver, bronze, etc. This Art form dates back hundreds of years, when people put fancy monograms onto their silver-ware. Also part of my trade is to produce Family Coat of Arms on signet rings. Each family of nobility in old Europe had their own family arms carved into a gold signet ring. Those rings were used to seal letters and documents, so once in a while I still get to do that, for some people who have created their own Coat of Arms and wear the ring to show off their family history."