Signet rings seal engraved with your crest or a coat of arms carved into the ring. The wearing of signet rings goes back to ancient Egypt; the distinctive personal signature was not developed in antiquity and most documents needed signet ring seals. The tradition continues, especially among the armigerous, in European and some other cultures. Although Signet rings occur in many different cultures they are united in that they are all ‘Works of Art’ in miniature, exquisite in form, jewels within their own right.
The origin of signet rings
Signet rings have been used as far back as 3500 BC when the people of Mesopotamia began using them as a method of authenticity. Originally the seal was a cylindrical device that was rolled across wet clay leaving an impression in the clay. The question of where to wear your signet ring is a topic often discussed with many customers. In the UK the signet ring has traditionally been worn on the smallest finger. If you are right-handed, you will tend to wear your signet ring on your left hand. It is typically a family crest, or another symbol representing an individual on its flat bezel. A design was usually engraved often with a reversed image either directly into the metal of the signet ring, then pressed into wax or clay to create personal signet ring seals.
Modern signet rings
In modern times, it’s usually engagement rings, diamond size and clarity, and therefore price and success that are the point of discussion. Traditionally signet rings were worn by men, the Prince of Wales is rarely seen without his signet rings. Most American men will wear their wedding bands on their left ring finger. They could end up using the right hand instead and there is no set tradition. Once reserved solely for the gentry, modern signet rings celebrate unique signet ring design and personal style rather than power and family heritage. The Latin word signet “signum” means “sign”, the rings were first used by ancient religious leaders and pharaohs to mark documents when pressed into hot wax or clay. Signet rings have a long associated with personal status and power and traditionally worn on the little finger. Signet rings were a sign of authenticity when a nobleman died, his signet ring would be destroyed so his signature could not be forged.