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Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing images on paper, which are called engravings. Engraving was a historically important method of producing images on paper, both in artistic printmaking, and also for commercial reproductions and illustrations for books and magazines.

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Engravers use a hardened steel tool called a burin to cut the design into the surface, most traditionally a copper plate.[1] Gravers come in a variety of shapes and sizes that yield different line types. The burin produces a unique and recognizable quality of line that is characterized by its steady, deliberate appearance and clean edges. The angle tint tool has a slightly curved tip that is commonly used in printmaking.

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Because of the high level of microscopic detail that can be achieved by a master engraver, counterfeiting of engraved designs is well-nigh impossible, and modern banknotes are almost always engraved, as are plates for printing money, checks, bonds and other security sensitive papers. The engraving is so fine that a normal printer can not recreate the detail of hand engraved images, nor can it be scanned.

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