I’ve made a few signet rings in these intermediate years as a jeweler (I say ‘intermediate’ because one can only call themselves an expert jeweler after 30-40 years of working as a full time goldsmith) by a few I mean 3 or 4, maybe 5. You can view some of my signet ring works here, here and here.
Signet rings, to me, are just lovely, really. I find them to be charming; they are customizable and forever changing, yet classic. The timeless silhouette to the signet ring, can be giving an complete different feel, just by how one chooses to adorn it. They can carry an air of soft delicate femininity when reliefs of botany and script are introduced. And yet, they also can be masculine and bold by adding rough textures and symbols of strength.
The history of the signet is what’s most fascinating. Dating back to biblical ages, these rings important meaning and uses. They were used by kings to seal official documents; by pressing the ring top into soften wax or clay. This seal was a sign of authenticity and untampered delivering. Signet rings also spoke to the wearers ranking or social position.
Of course, I have a full Pintrest board dedicated to signets. Most of my pins are of antique or ancient, signet rings. Others are modern versions of what the those rings once represented. I love that these signet rings have made such a big return the jewelry world! Almost every jewelry maker has some version of this sentimental adornment.
The modern version are my favorite. I too plan on bring my ideas of a signet ring into my collection of work. Seeing details of our modern lifestyle cleverly depicted on old world traditions and heirloom wears excites more than I can express! Current day signets make me happy and inspired all the same as the ancient ones!
Below are some good writings on the history of signet rings. Give them a read, should you be interested.
1// The Modern History of the Signet Ring – via 18th Century History Blog
2// The Fascinating History of Signet Rings – via The Jewelry Box Blog
3// The History and Symbolism of the Signet Ring – via Jweel Blog
*photo credits in order of appearance: