The gram becomes chill to the touch when it protects its bearer, and gives a shock similar to a guilder when touched by a person that does not own it, leading Kvothe to conclude that a guilder acts as a gram in addition to being a badge of office.
Creation of a gram requires the use of the runes for blood and bone, which are only taught to a student artificer of the rank of El'the.  Actually creating a gram, however, is forbidden to a student.
Kvothe creates a gram after being attacked by Ambrose, who intends to punish or kill a burglar whose blood he discovered in his rooms at the Golden Pony. Later, after losing his on the way to Vintas, he constructs another for the Maer Alveron. When Ambrose returns to the University (one term later than Kvothe's return) Kvothe immediately constructs another gram for himself.
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