What is in a fingerprint?

So, just why am I harping on about fingerprints so much today...?

The reason is, they are completely amazing!

Each of us having our very own fingerprints in this world of imitation and mass production and is a wonderful thing. They are nature's art and I think that makes them very important.

Of course, our amazing fingerprints have a much wider use, they can identify us, for better or for worse.

The process of identifying fingerprints is called dactyloscopy and the study of fingerprints is called dermatoglyphics.

Latent prints are those which are accidental or are there by chance.

Exemplar prints are those deliberately taken, for example those taken by the police when people have been naughty.

There are also Plastic and Patent prints; plastic being prints which are captured in a material, for example clay. The patent prints are those which occur because a person transfers a substance from their finger onto a surface.

What I find most interesting is the history of the fingerprint. I love that fingerprints have been found in such ancient places, some of which are deliberate and some of which were not. For example fingerprints have been found inside Egyptian tombs and on pottery and tiles from ancient Rome.

We know that people were using fingerprints in ancient times even though it wasn't until 1788 when Johann Cristoph Andreas Mayer realised that fingerprints are unique to each person.

Despite a doctor called Robert Blake suggesting the police take fingerprints in a murder investigation in 1840, the police did not routinely use fingerprint identification for a number of years after.

Of course, we love your fingerprints too, we absolutely love working with them and we do, every day. Your fingerprint can be left as is and used all over a piece of jewellery or we can enlarge them so you can see every detail. Or we can take your finger indentation along with it's print and use that too. There are so many possibilities!

Enjoy your Wednesday x

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