Silicone bands are commonly used as wedding bands, and these rings are a great opportunity to put a meaningful, lifelong message underneath the band that remain private for the wearer.
It’s also a common trait that people want to see in personalized gifts for big events and milestones.
While engraving is a wonderful sentiment, can you actually get away with engraving silicone rings, or will they just break?
We’re here to shed light on all of that, show you what you need to know, and talk about the caveats that you don’t hear of anywhere else.
How to Engrave Your Silicone Ring?
You have to send your silicone ring out to be engraved. It’s not something that’s advised to do on your own for the risk of destroying or altering the structural integrity of the band. You’re not going to destroy the thing, but you’re also not going to do it any favors at the same time.
Utilizing homemade tools is a possibility, but ill-advised for multiple reasons. Let’s go over some of the reasons that at-home silicone band engraving is not a good idea.
Using the wrong tool can simply tear a sliver in your silicone ring, which can lead to a complete split where the silicone severs. This isn’t something that you can just send in to the manufacturer.
Tearing is one of the biggest concerns with engraving a silicone ring. There’s a reason that they use specialty micro engraving equipment to carry out the task.
You want to put “I Love You” in cursive or something on the inside of the band. How’s your penmanship? Is it perfectly centered, or is there a lot of room on top of the words, and not a lot of room on the bottom of the words?
Even if you manage to successfully engrave a silicone ring, they’re not going to be the results you expect in your head.
Truth is, few people on earth are good enough to make it come out perfectly. Engraving is done completely robotically, so computer precision deals with the measurements, and ensures consistent results.
You just don’t have the tools for the job. Engraving anything is difficult, but silicone?
It’s rubbery, so it’s hard to dig into it without just making a tear or puncturing through the entire band. You would need micro-sized, ultra-sharp tools that are specifically designed for cutting through silicone.
As a spoiler alert before you look them up, they’re going to cost four times more than the ring you bought. It would be cheaper to send it out and get it engraved post-order at this rate.
You could ruin the entire warranty just by simply attempting to engrave your silicone band, and then failing. Silicone ring warranties are typically lifelong, but come with that little nuance of “If used for intended purposes”.
You couldn’t return a blender because the blades broke after you put rocks in it, or if your tire popped because you climbed inside of it and rode downhill. You have to use the ring as intended, and leave engraving up to the professionals.
One other popular at-home attempt for this has been boiling your silicone bands, as is sometimes done with shrinking, and then striking while the iron is hot, so to speak.
It’s believed that engraving is easier when the silicone is warm from the water, but it’s unlikely to work. In the end, it just circles back to that warranty issue we talked about earlier.
Engraving Pre- or Post-Order?
It’s best to engrave your rings pre-order when there are options available. This is still dont after the band has set and has been completely produced, but because it’s still in the care of the manufacturer, it’s a lot cheaper to do.
Many manufacturers account for engraving to be part of the process, which is why they either offer it for free, or simply have their own equipment to do it so you don’t have to go to a third-party provider.
Consider this: most engraving pre-order is free if you’re already buying the ring. If you send your ring out post-order, you have to pay for shipping on the way there, the engraving service itself, and most likely the return shipping.
How Good Are Engravings on Silicone Rings?
They feel just like engravings on metal rings, only embedded in silicone instead. They can be done extremely well without killing the integrity of the silicone.
Silicone engravings might not go as deep as metal band engravings, but who says that’s a bad thing?
They’re visible, and often do not leave a noticeable texture difference for the inside of the band.
We know that silicone is strong and durable, which is why engravings have to be done specifically to not interrupt the integrity of the band. Most silicone band engravings don’t go more than 10% into the band’s surface, so you can get your engraving without messing up your ring.
If you were seriously trying to pull a silicone ring until it snapped, you would have to apply about 40-45 lbs worth of pressure (which is a lot, by the way), and then it might snap.
Some rings are built with a higher resistance. For an engraved band, at the very most, it might only take about one less pound of pressure to break them if stress is being applied to a long engraving along the interior.
Even then, you only run the risk of diminishing about 2.5% of the band’s strength to have that engraving, which is a negligible amount.
When silicone rings are engraved, it normally happens after the bands are produced and have had to set. It’s rare that it happens during the molding phase when the silicone is hot. Specialized machinery carefully etches your engraving into the band, leaving behind smooth silicone with no tear points.
In short, silicone engravings are good. They hold up over the test of time. There is just one thing to keep in mind: this provides additional space for water and bacteria to get trapped (bacteria doesn’t grow on silicone, but it can grow on your fingers from the moisture).
Be sure you’re washing your silicone band as much as possible, and let it air dry before you put it back on. Every now and again, when you take the band off, flip it inside out just a little bit and inspect the engraving to make sure nothing is getting trapped there.
Can I Get Engravings on the Outside of the Band?
Yes, you absolutely can. This might not be an immediate option for some of the automated online engraving forms, but if you contact the manufacturer, they should be able to offer it.
Some ring brands actually engrave their logo on the outside of the band, such as some Qalo rings. This is very popular for wedding bands so there’s some key characteristic differences on the outside, indicating that it’s unique and important to other people. There’s a lot you can do with external engravings.
- Words: A phrase that means a lot to you, or a scripture (if there’s room on the band) that you live your life by. Truth is, there’s an endless amount of combinations when you put meaningful words on the outside of your ring.
- Symbols and Logos: Just like how Qalo does with their rings, you can put your own logo on silicone rings. Buy a batch and have them as an introductory gift for your new employees with the logo on it, or something of the sort. For symbols, a lot of people put famous movie and book symbols on rings if it’s a fandom that they’re particularly into, like Harry Potter and Hunger Games, just to name a few.
- Matching Images: For wedding bands, best friend rings, or anything like that, you can just go with some matching images to tie them together. This works well if you both want different designs and colors, because as long as the symbol is the same, it still has uniformity to it.
Keep in mind that exterior engravings still need to be cleaned properly and are subject to trapped water. Since bacteria can’t grow on silicone, rinsing and air drying these rings should suffice.
Engravings Are a Great Way to Personalize Your Silicone Ring
If you want to personalize your silicone ring, get one engraved for someone else, or make a seriously awesome gift, you can do all of that.
It’s not only possible to engrave silicone rings, but most of the time, it’s dirt cheap to do it. While they need to be engraved with special machinery, it’s not like a laser engraver cutting through metal.