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About Fingerprint Jewellery


We’ve created this page to tell you a bit more about our fingerprint jewellery, its origins and how it’s created.  So many of our customers want to know more about the process and what’s involved and we hope this page will satisfy those of you who ask ‘so how does it work?’


How are silver fingerprint charms made?
Our charms are created using Precious Metal Clay (PMC) which is pure silver in a clay form.  PMC was created in Japan in the early 1990’s by a clever chap called Dr Morikawa of Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (and yes, that’s the same Mitsubishi who make cars!).


PMC consists of just three natural ingredients - fine silver powder, water and an organic binder.  It is soft and pliable when first removed from the packet and looks and feels a bit like sticky, wet plasticine. After the PMC is prepared and rolled, a fingerprint impression is taken into the clay. It is left to dry and harden and then engraved, shaped, sanded and fired at high temperature in a kiln. As the kiln reaches a temperature of over 800°C the heat drives off the water and organic binder and causes the solid silver particles to fuse together to create your silver fingerprint charm. Well it’s not quite as simple as that - there are a few other steps to the process (23 in total!) which we can’t share with you here as we like to keep a little mystery to our methods.  In total, our charms take between 2 and 4 hours to make depending on what type of charm is created. Hand and footprint and doodle charms take longer as there is more involved in the process.


What’s so special about silver fingerprint charms?
Every person’s fingerprint is unique. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprints and no two fingerprints have ever been found to be identical. This is what makes them so special. Our fingerprint charms really do capture the bond you share with your loved ones. When you’re not with them all you need to do is reach to your charm necklace, place your fingertip on top of their fingerprint impression and you will instantly feel close to them.


We know from our customers’ feedback that our silver fingerprint charms bring joy, comfort and re-assurance to so many people. We can create charms for servicemen who are on the front line which we know brings them hope during those long spells away from their loved ones. Equally, their family back at home can have a charm which they can keep with them at all times.  We can also help capture precious memories of new beginnings such as births and weddings with our beautiful Special Moments range.


We can also create keepsake charms in memorial which we know make very sentimental pieces. It can be a tremendous struggle losing someone you love, whether that be an older relative, a young child or even a pet. We can help capture their memory by creating a bespoke piece of jewellery you can treasure forever. Some people prefer a fingerprint charm on a photo-frame beside a special picture of their loved one, while others prefer a charm on a necklace so they are always close to their heart. We deal sensitively with these orders and are respectful at all times during the processing stages of each memorial charm.


And remember, our sold silver charms make fantastic family heirlooms - a real piece of history. If you have your children’s fingerprint impressions captured, you will one day pass these down and they will do the same with their children.


Why do you check both hands to determine which finger to use?
It’s quite common for someone to have a better fingerprint on one hand when compared to their fingerprint on the other. There are many reasons for this – some babies suck one finger or hand more than the other which can make their fingerprint impression softer. It’s also common for some finger tips to have dry skin, lumps and bumps or even small scars.  If you see us for an appointment, you may therefore see us examining the fingerprints from both hands before deciding which one to use. We want your silver fingerprint charm to be perfect after all.


What if you get the prints mixed up and I get someone else’s print?
No way - not on our watch. We’re the first to confess we have mild OCD and if you visit our studio you’ll see what we mean – there’s a place for everything and everything in its place!


Our systems are created to ensure we don’t get our fingerprint charms mixed up. We’ve thought long and hard about our procedures and designed and made our own storage trays with different sections. Each section within the tray homes one single silver fingerprint charm. We mark all charms both on the clay itself before engraving, and also on the base card to ensure there is no confusion.  We also use zip lock bags with detailed stickers to ensure easy identification. For putty prints taken by mail order Gift Pack we store them with a label stating your name, order number and child’s name. Here at The Vintage Charm Company, we pride ourselves on our integrity and hope this gives you peace of mind that the fingerprint charm you receive does in fact belong to your loved one.


Do you keep the impression in case I want to order another charm again in the future?
It depends..... If you are based near to one of Fingerprint Consultants they will take the fingerprint impression directly into the silver clay in which case they will not be stored. If you use one of our Gift Packs they contain fingerprint impression putty and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.  We keep all putty prints on file and clearly labelled unless you ask us not too.


And how do you create silver hand, foot and paw print charms?
We use an inkless system which is popular in USA where it is used to identify new born babies. The inkless system which consists of an inkless wipe and magic paper has been designed for use within the medical profession so is completely non-toxic. When the wipe which contains a residue is rubbed over a hand or footprint and pressed onto the paper it reacts to reveal a perfect print.  After editing the prints on a computer and miniaturising them, we make a negative which can be used with an ultra violet lamp to create a stamp.  This stamp is then pressed down into the PMC and stored in case you’d like to order again in the future. You may have noticed we charge £15 more for our hand, foot and paw print charms. This is to cover the extra materials and time needed to create these charms which take twice as long as silver fingerprint charms.



Is there anything else you’d like to know? Check out our 'Frequently Asked Questions' or ask us and we’ll do our best to help.

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