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Monograms and how to read them

engraved monogram

What is a Monogram

A beautifully hand-engraved monogram is a combination of initials, but it is not as simple as just engraving one letter after the other.  The letters should look as though they are layered or weaving in and out of each other, and not all letters fit together easily. It takes an experienced, artistic eye to look at each set of letters and work out the best way to position them on jewellery or metal as monograms or cyphers.  

master hand engraving
Oh My Giddy Aunt is fortunate to have a master engraver creating our Monogram Signets by hand - no electricity involved - except for the lights, radio and phone charger!  One of the few, true, old school, heraldic engravers left in the business, and each hand-engraved monogram is an individual work of art. While Monograms can be a bit of a puzzle to put together, they can also take a time to decipher. 
Traditionally the most prominent letter is the initial of the surname. The second most prominent letter is the initial of the first or christian name, and the initial of the middle name will be the smallest.  
Major letters can go across or up and down the ring, just depending on the shape of the ring and the shape of the letter. Artistry and skill is required to make sure each letter is not jumbled or sitting directly on top of another. The letters also need to cut and weave, and just to make it even more complicated, in a block font they have serif feet, and in a script font there are extra swirls and flourishes.  
Try your eye at reading a few of these.  (If you need help you'll find the answers below).
engraved monogram ring M


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