Quite often customers will ask me, ‘Do babies have fingerprints? ‘ and ‘what age can fingerprint jewellery be made from?‘ Most people are quite surprised to hear that for some babies it can be done from birth.
‘Babies don’t have fingerprints!’ is something I hear quite a lot, and it’s not actually true. In fact fingerprints are developed in the womb, before the baby is even born. What is true is that baby fingerprints can be extremely fine and shallow. Because of this, capturing these delicate prints can be a challenge.
At Lasting Touch I use a premium moulding compound in order to capture the best possible detail in these very fine fingerprints. I have also developed my own methods to transfer the detail into your silver fingerprint charm to try and get you the best possible results.
Certainly, the detail seen in the finished fingerprint jewellery will depend on the depth of the whorls in the baby’s actual fingerprint. Some babies have far stronger fingerprints than others, as a general rule: Some babies have a suitable fingerprint from birth. Most babies have a suitable print by the age of 6 months. Almost all babies have a suitable fingerprint by 12-18 months old.
How can I tell if my baby has good enough fingerprints for jewellery?
Sometimes you can see just by looking at the finger whether or not there are strong lines in the print. If you are unsure, pressing the finger lightly into some playdoh can also help you to see what sort of results you might see in a fingerprint charm. If the finger does not produce a clear print, why not try a thumb print or even a toe print! The big toe often has the strongest whorls!!
Remember, even if your baby does not have strong lines in their fingerprint, the little dimple you will see in your jewellery represents their tiny finger or thumb (or toe!) exactly as it is, lines or no lines. If you are keen to have a silver keepsake made but are worried that your baby does not have strong enough prints, why not consider an item of handprint jewellery (or footprint jewellery) instead?
A few examples of prints I have made with small babies and children’s fingerprints.
Silver is by far the most common option for fingerprint jewellery. It is rare to find an artist who works in solid gold.
The main reason for this is the cost. Gold clay is incredibly expensive. Around 50x more expensive than silver clay!!
So you can imagine, that if a piece of sterling silver jewellery can be produced for around £60, solid gold jewellery is going to run into £1000s!
Gold clay is also only available in 24ct pure gold. This is a soft metal, a bit like pure fine silver and isn’t ideal for fingerprint jewellery.
If you search around you may be able to find people who make jewellery using more traditional techniques and there may be more options for cast gold fingerprint jewellery. I am a clay artist so i don’t know an awful lot about the other techniques.
Alternatives to solid gold fingerprint jewellery
One alternative is to have your sterling silver piece gold plated. This isn’t something I do myself right now. I send my pieces off to a jeweller who does it professionally for me. I can offer yellow or rose gold gold plated jewellery.
If you are having hand and footprint jewellery, you could also consider gold accents. This can be done using real 24ct gold which is elecro-plated onto the silver piece by hand. I am pleased to say that I can now offer this service.
A cheaper alternative is to use gold (or coloured) paint such as in the example below, I am happy to do this for you, just let me know which colour you would like.
Looking for a special gift for mum? You may well be considering an item of personalised jewellery. Here are a few options for you to consider.
A handwritten message
Children love to leave little handwritten notes for their mums. This one was left as a little surprise from my client’s son and his dad on the bottom of her shopping list! She loved it so much that she decided to have it transferred into a handmade silver pendant. I think that’s a fantastic idea and really special.
A special print
There isn’t much more personal than your own child’s little hand, foot or fingerprints captured in a personalised piece of jewellery that you can carry with you everywhere you go! You can even have your child’s name stamped in their own handwriting if you like!
Start a story
Charm bracelets are a great way to tell a story and are by far the most personalisable jewellery available for mums. Add to them whenever something significant happens in your life, a new baby, a wedding, starting a new job.
If handmade and customised jewellery is a little out of your budget, you can purchase pre-made beads and charms to personalise the bracelet yourself. You can purchase special beads for significant events, however personalisation could be something as simple as choosing your mum’s favourite colour combinations.
Personalise your packaging.
This is something you can do yourself. As lovely as it is to receive an expensive gift, most mum’s don’t expect their children to spend their hard earned pocket money on personalised gifts! Why not think about adding a little note to your jewellery gift. This could be handwritten or you could create your own little packaging slip. Alternatively here are a few that you are welcome to print off and use.