Signet rings, unmistakable for their iconic appearance and functionality, were originally used as a tool to seal important documents or as a form of authentication. A seal from a signet ring was once considered to hold more validity than a signature.
Pressed into wax or soft clay to emboss a personal marking, often a family crest, these delicate engravings were, and still are, made by skilled jewellers making them very difficult to replicate. It is due to this skill and craftsmanship that often signet rings were known as ‘seal rings’. The name comes from Latin ‘Signum’ which means ‘sign’. The family crest or personal mark were engraved in a mirrored image on the bezel of the ring, meaning that the impression would be left visible the correct way up.
Signet rings date back to Ancient Egypt where Pharaohs, and people of importance, would wear rings made from pottery bearing the gods names in hieroglyphics. Signet rings were often a sign of wealth. Throughout history, ranging from the middle ages through to the 10thcentury, it was frequently individuals of high importance, or royalty, that were known to wear such luxurious pieces of jewellery. This was further extended with signet rings set with a gemstone or precious stone on its bezel, these gemstones include: garnet, bloodstone and lapis lazuli. By the end of the 19th century a range of individuals, from all classes, wore signet rings, merchants often opting for monograms.
Today, signet rings are most commonly given as a gift to mark a special birthday, bought and worn by a customer to represent their family heritage or as a traditional fashion statement. The popularity is continually increasing with more and more people asking for modern twists on the traditional signet ring.
Our showrooms favourite combinations of semi-precious stones signet rings are:
• 18ct Rose Gold with Tigers Eye, a golden chatoyant gemstone featuring parallel lines of quartz crystals that softly sparkle as ripples through the surface.
• 18ct White Gold with Lapis Lazuli, a striking vivid blue, speckled with gold flakes of Pyrite.
• 18ct Yellow Gold with Malachite, rich green in colour and completely opaque, this gemstone features concentric rings giving the stone a unique appearance.
Our selection of signet rings are available in a wide array of metals, including: platinum, 18ct or 9ct white, yellow or rose gold. Each option is available with laser, hand or seal engraving to add your own unique finish.
For further information on our signet ring collections, please contact your local Prestons showroom.