With long experience a craftsman can influence the results but never predict them precisely, so no two case-hardened items are identical. The effect is rounded off by elaborate gold damascene work. Nowadays there are only very few traditional workshops that can carry out these two ancient skills in the way that the Pen of the Year 2010 demonstrates. Before the case hardening, the engraver cuts a groove with a dovetail cross-section, which the 24-carat gold inlay work is later set into and then polished. A perfect result requires great skill and precision.