A long time ago, signet rings were the rings to own. Not only did they represent your family via a customized crest, but it also symbolized your stature in society. They were stylish and bold but maintained their practicality.
Pharaohs wore them, nobility, even Freemasons (to this day). Over time, as society continues to break down societal barriers and with the discovery of abundant materials and processes, the signet ring is making a significant splash in the modern fashion industry.
You may be thinking—aren’t signet rings for men?
You’d be wrong, honey.
Advancement in jewelry-making techniques has pushed signet ring designs away from the bulky, exclusive ancestors of our past. You’ll find signet rings across the spectrum. While you can still find a hearty ring emblazoned with a family crest, you’re just as likely to find one that’s lightweight, slim, and customized for the moment.
Thank goodness we’ve grown up as a society. Signet rings are not just members-only or an exclusive boy’s club signifier anymore. Stay-at-home moms and Wall Street women alike are redefining the significance and style of signet rings worldwide.
What is a Signet Ring, Anyway?
The anatomy of signet rings is pretty simple: you have the shank, or band; the bezel, which is the shaped segment that holds the signet; and, a signet, a symbol or design emblazoned onto the bezel.
And, it is typical to find signet rings in a basic format: a band that has a prominent, etched bezel.
Before modern history, signet rings signified royalty or nobility. It was used by men of power to separate themselves from the lower class and was commonly treated as an heirloom passed down from generation to generation to the next patriarch in line, whether he deserved it or not. Our homegirls were left out.
Now, it is typical, and even stylish, for women and people of all classes to wear signet rings. No longer are there sexist or classist barriers to owning a signet ring. The glass ceiling is shattered, thank you very much!
Today you’ll find that many moms, sisters, and lovers wear signet rings to show off their personalities, to honor their families and loved ones, or to memorialize a moment in time or a commitment to that special someone. You can also talk your beau into getting one for you with both of your initials on it (queue aww’s).
So what types of signet rings are there in the world?
You’ll find various signet ring types that are:
- Blank, minimal, or overflowing with design
- Made of gold, sterling silver, rose gold, or cheaper metals
- Monogrammed, etched, or stamped
- Featuring zodiac signs, emotional symbols, logos, initials, and unique designs
- Different shapes like circle, oval, square, bar, starburst, or heart or flower shaped
- Different symbols like Butterfly, Sunflower, Rose, Moon, and Friendship symbols
- Used for everyday wear or special occasions only
It’s best to choose a type of signet ring based on how you plan to use it and what it symbolizes. Do you want a daily reminder of that special someone? Or do you want a standout, bold piece that will smack people in the face when they see your signet ring as you sip champagne?
The possibilities are endless!
So now that you have your perfect signet ring design picked out, what do you use it for? How do you wear your new fab bling?
Signet Ring Use and How to Wear Them
Before our industrial and technological revolutions, signet rings were more practical. Many of our ancestors used them as a stamp of approval for verification of their identity as well as a signature on legal documents (think Game of Thrones seals on letters). It was more trusted than today’s signature standard.
Kings and pharaohs wore them as a sign of their royalty. And, they didn’t want to have cases of identity theft. They were so tied to the person who wore them that many families or servants destroyed them when the wearer died to keep forgers from cashing in big.
Luckily, our modern world is a little more forgiving about who can and cannot wear signet rings.
Symbology is important for signet rings. They evoke meaning. Some people choose to memorialize their family’s history, their organizational belonging (like a secret society or alma mater), and others like to just have cool pieces to wear that are special only to the wearer.
That’s why signet rings are awesome. They’re so customizable!
Some ideas for signet ring designs include:
- Initials: Moms love initials of their kids or grandkids as a symbol of pride. Initials on a signet ring can also represent you and your boo’s budding relationship.
- Names: Why not go all out and inscribe the names of your kids onto a signet ring? That’d also make a great gift for your mom, who we know sneaks candy to your kids when you’re not looking.
- Zodiac sign: Are you a hardcore Leo? Or an emotional Virgo? Show off your personality with your zodiac sign on a signet ring.
- Family crest: If you happen to be that bougie, consider locating your family’s crest online or from your relatives and start a new tradition for your family. Or, create your own unique family crest!
- Military: Are you a badass woman on the frontlines? You’ll most likely want to pick up a signet ring that represents your branch and your service--oorah!
- Engraving: Whether you’re a Southern belle or a Manhattan power boss, monogrammed signet rings are a cute way to personalize your jewelry while serving as a personal seal unique to you
So, how do you adorn your outfit with a signet ring? It’s up to you! But, there are some elements to consider.
Are you working long office hours on the computer? Protect your signet rings and leave them at home, and wear them as your bling when you go out on the town. If you do want to show off your ring daily, consider a strong, sturdy metal alloy like a gold signet ring or sterling silver from a quality jeweler that will remain durable with frequent use.
You can also layer up if your signet is smaller or more compact. Layer bands above or below your signet ring to personalize your look. Not feeling it? Try mixing it up by wearing a signet ring on a different finger like your pinky, your index finger, or even your thumb.
When it comes to personal design, just keep in mind what material it’s made of and the purpose of wearing the ring.
Don’t fret too much. In the end, you want a signet ring that works for you.
Signet Rings For Everyone
There’s no one way to wear a signet ring. And, they’re so customizable, that you can get as quirky and unique as you’d like!
As societal barriers break and our collective consciousness throws class warfare out of the window, so does our fashion. A great signet ring won’t break the budget but should be made of good quality as it has the potential to be an heirloom for generations to come.
Rellery has signet rings in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. You can customize your rings without sacrificing quality, too. We’ll even help maintain the life of your rings and even replace them if they get too worn out!
Our goal is to bring you high quality at a fair price. All of our jewelry is ethically made, and we cut out the middleman (it’s about time), which means no 1000% markups here!