The History of Signet Rings

21 September 2020

And Why You Need One Now

Once worn only by royalty as a way of making their signature on a document, signet rings are now a signifier of style. It was the nobility of ancient Egypt and Greece who first used the signet rings. An individual’s mark or family crest was engraved into the face of the signet ring. This was then stamped into hot wax to seal a document or ink to sign it. By the Middle Ages, any person of influence had one. They were usually destroyed upon their death to prevent any possibility of forged documents.

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Thankfully we now have peel-and-stick envelopes, pens and electronic signatures so signet rings can be a stylish addition to any man’s jewellery collection. The royals are still fans of the signet ring. You rarely see Prince Charles without his ring. Princess Diana was a trendsetter for women when she sported one in 1988. Hollywood celebrities and musicians are also fans of the signet ring, running the style gamut from discreet (Chris Noth and Chris Hemsworth) to enthusiastic (Johnny Depp) to dazzling (DJ Khaled and Jay-Z).

Traditionally, you wear the ring on the little finger of the non-dominant hand (Prince Charles adheres to this protocol). However, the rules are a little more relaxed these days as men’s jewellery is about personal style rather than legal documentation. Wear your signet ring on the pinky or ring finger of either hand. You can wear them with other jewellery including other rings, bracelets, cufflinks and watches. However, we would recommend matching your metals.

Bespoke Signet Ring Designs

A signet ring can be a simple as an unmarked gold ring. Engrave it with initials or a crest or stud the ring with pave-set stones or a single gem. There has also been a wave of stylish women such as Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sporting signet rings - either plain, engraved or completely pave set. Discuss a bespoke design with our team or view our collection online or in-store. Whatever your personal style, there’s a signet ring to seal it with.

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Learn more about Signet Rings an browse our collection