Printing Press: Photo Jewelry Is More Beautiful Than Ever

Printing Press: Photo Jewelry Is More Beautiful Than Ever

Photoengraved and printed jewelry is popular and profitable.


Advanced techniques in photo jewelry printing and engraving provide exciting new opportunities for personalized gifts and family heirlooms. Suppliers offer everything from waterproof photographic paper and prints encased in plastic or crystal to high-quality images printed directly on metal surfaces. Several companies even offer pendants cut into the shape of a customer’s pet with fur and other details etched into the metal.

“The trick with engraving jewelry is making it permanent,” says Daniel Schifter, co-owner of the family-run business Pictures On Gold. “Especially when you’re dealing with color, which has tendency to fade. I dealt with durability issues throughout the years, so I created a patented process that makes color images vivid and rock-solid permanent.”

Pictures On Gold, a division of Photograve Corporation, is a high-tech jewelry engraving business based in Staten Island, New York. The company has spent the last 23 years fine-tuning photoengraving technology to improve image resolution and longevity. They use a proprietary technique that’s different from most other photoengraving processes.

Pictures On Gold Angel Heart Pendant

Color quality and permanency are the biggest differences between Pictures On Gold and its competitors, according to Schifter. “The engraving equipment is also higher definition than that used by some of the smaller companies. The dpi is much higher. It’s faster and it’s more industrial. There’s a notable difference in the final product.”

Schifter started the business with his father, a jeweler, in 1995. “I had just graduated from high school when my father came up with the idea to offer photoengraving services to his own and other jewelry store customers,” he recalls. “He bought photoengraving equipment from a European company and asked me to accompany him overseas for the training session.

“He was to do the training. I was just along as backup,” says Schifter, who was college-bound in the fall. But jet lag lulled his father to sleep during the training session and left young Schifter in a quandary. “It was a relatively new technology at the time, and I was more tech-savvy than my father. So I just took the bull by the horns and ran with it.” He’s been running the business ever since.

Pictures On Gold Always in My Heart Locket

The Always in My Heart heart-shaped photo locket is the company’s best-selling product. Schifter and his team developed a patented process to laser the customer’s image inside the locket on a modified interior. As a result, they apply the image to a flat surface instead of the concave shape of a normal locket. The finished product is permanent, waterproof and scratchproof; the customer can wear it anywhere, including in a pool.

In addition, stainless steel photo dog tags are a popular product for men, according to Schifter. “We also offer a rectangle keychain that’s popular with both men and women. I carry one around with a picture of my children, because I work so many hours. It’s comforting to know I always have my kids with me.”

Pictures On Gold Stainless Steel Photo Dog Tag

On the high end, Pictures On Gold sells custom Swiss Quartzline photo-laser watches for men and women. “They’re not cheap,” says Schifter. “We try to put out a Bravado-style watch, with high-quality Swiss movements and a durable sapphire crystal.

“Our photoengraving process is guaranteed to last a lifetime, whether it’s on a simple charm bracelet or a custom Swiss watch. They are durable and cost-effective gifts for people who want to keep their loved ones with them at all times.”

Pictures On Gold Custom Swiss Watch

In addition, Photograve offers an affiliate program through Commission Junction, an affiliate manager. The program allows sellers to list Pictures On Gold products on their websites. Visit for information. They also have a wholesale program for mom-and-pop businesses that includes countertop displays and sales literature.

Memorial Photo Jewelry

Jewelry Keepsakes, located in Great Falls, Montana, specializes in engraved and memorial jewelry. Since its founding in 2005, the company has focused on preserving memories for its customers. It provides pendants, bracelets, rings and also other gifts designed to hold the ashes of family members and pets. In 2009, Jewelry Keepsakes added black-and-white photoengraving to its services. In addition, it now offers hundreds of traditional and cremation jewelry and gift products.

Soufeel Photoengraved Tag Necklace

Customers who wish to combine a photo and physical remembrance can choose a heart-, circle- or square-shaped cremation pendant or key ring and have it engraved with an image of their loved one. Each measures approximately 1×1 inch, and a small urn inside the pendant holds the remembrance.

The exterior face of the jewelry features the engraved image; the back is a sleek black enamel. Other photoengraved keepsakes include silver- and gold-plated stainless steel photo pendants, bracelets, dog tags, money clips, keychains and also wallet cards.

Unique Photo Jewelry & More

Soufeel Jewelry is a direct-to-consumer company established in 2009, with stores in New York and Seattle. The company is known for its intricately designed beads, charms and personalized jewelry.

Soufeel Crown Swarovski Crystal Photo Charm

Its designers, Moly Drescher and Carol Koch, also offer an extensive collection of unique photo jewelry, including rings, bracelets, watches and charms. Pendants and charms come in all sizes and shapes—butterflies, photo albums and tiny televisions. Swarovski crystals are used to enhance the jewelry. All Soufeel charms and pendants are made from 925 sterling silver.

Soufeel Mother’s Photo Ring

Like the other companies mentioned here, Soufeel receives excellent customer reviews, a critical consideration when choosing printing partners. For information on the company’s affiliate and reseller programs, visit the site at

Personalization Mall Always in My Heart Pet Memorial Keychain

Retailers can also offer photoengraved jewelry through their traditional photo printing suppliers, like Nations Photo Lab, Shutterfly, Mpix and Personalization Mall.

Popular products range from printed metal dog tags and luggage tags to keychains and photo charms. All of them make excellent stocking stuffers.

Shutterfly also has a line of personalized photo charms that comes in various metals and designs. Each charm measures .59 inch (15mm) in diameter.

Shutterfly Rose Gold Photo Charm Sets

They can be ordered individually or as part of a set with a matching necklace, bangle or charm bracelet. Customers can also mix and match the photo charms with birthstones and initial charms to create a personalized jewelry grouping.

In addition to the photo jewelry and other gift items, Shutterfly offers printed metal bookmarks and bottle openers.

Shutterfly Bottle Opener

The lightweight metal bookmarks measure 5×1.25 inches and can be ordered individually or in sets. The stainless steel bottle opener measures 7×1.5 inches. Both are printed on one side.

Photo Buttons

Photo buttons fall into a category of their own. These popular collectors’ items date all the way back to 1787, when Josiah Wedgwood, of the Wedgwood pottery dynasty, made the first pin-back campaign buttons. The buttons depicted “the kneeling African” slave in chains and included the slogan “Am I not a man and a brother?” Fortunately, consumers no longer have to wear clay buttons with pins baked into the back, and they don’t need a cause to create their own lasting memory—just a photo of someone or a place they love.

Shutterfly recently added personalized photo pins for gifts, party favors and memorabilia. The site offers templates for celebrating teens, mothers, families and special events. To prevent fading, a mylar/UV cover protects the 2.25-inch metal shell and images. Via a pin mechanism on the back, they affix on clothing or attach to a backpack or bag.

Shutterfly Family Love Pin

Mpix also offers large 3.5-inch buttons. Images are printed on one of the company’s premium paper (E-surface, metallic or true black and white). They are secured on a solid metal backing with a durable pin.

Nations Photo Lab additionally sells 3-inch photo buttons printed on Kodak Endura Professional photo paper (lustre or metallic). Each pin has a durable clear shell.

With today’s photo jewelry options seemingly endless, this popular gift category is a great fit for photo retailers’ holiday offerings and beyond.



  1. “Intriguing read on ‘Printing Press: Photo Jewelry Is More Beautiful Than Ever’! The article beautifully highlights the blend of sentimentality and craftsmanship in photo jewelry. It’s fascinating to see how modern printing techniques have enhanced the beauty and personalization of these pieces. A wonderful insight into a unique and heartfelt form of expression in jewelry.”