A signet ring is typically engraved with an image or icon meant to signify something memorable. The engraving can be initials, a family crest, coat of arms, or a meaningful symbol. It looks bold, works great on the pinky finger and just oozes style. Did you know signet rings weren’t always as casual as they are today?
Signet rings date back to as far as 3500 BC, when people wore cylindrical seals around their neck with a unique, personal engraved symbol in wax or clay. The Egyptians transformed this concept into a ring with a seal. In the beginning, signet rings were carved from soft stone or bone, by 1500 BC they were made from harder stones like onyx.
Some of our signet rings with family crests. We have oval and rectangular stones, often light or medium blue with black or dark red underneath.
During the Middle Ages and through the early 19th century, signet rings were often worn by royalty or influential members of society. By then, the engraving could be used to authenticate documents by pressing it into melted wax. Ornate designs, family crests, symbols, and initials were carved into precious metals, adorned with precious stones like diamonds and rubies to signify the social status of the wearer.
Some of our signet rings have gemstones without engravings, like bloodstone, carnelian, agate or onyx. Great to wear like this or to have engraved with your own symbol:
It was not until the later part of the 19th century that signet rings became popular among women. By this time signet rings didn’t hold as much legal status as they once did, but still were a sign of wealth and importance, worn by nobility. A signet ring remains a classical, aesthetic piece symbolizing class and wealth. Today they are worn as a fashion statement, by all genders on all fingers of the hand, while also still being passed down as heirlooms from generation to generation.
Last but not least we have a beautiful antique (1915) all gold signet ring with initials (N/L). And a very special signet ring with a torch passing hands over the world:
See The Antique Ring Shop's current collection of signet rings