Something that's engraved has a design carved into its surface. An engraved serial number on a gun or a computer, for example, can be helpful if these items are lost or stolen. Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it with a burin. Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper in artistic printmaking, in mapmaking, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines. However, there is one major difference between the two: etching is a chemical process while engraving is a physical process. The former uses an acid solution (etching agent) to etch lines into a surface, often leaving behind intricate and detailed designs. Engraving is permanent and can be highly detailed and precise. Engraving processes have become extremely advanced so that most jewelers can easily engrave very complicated, custom designs onto their jewelry.