Signet rings are widely regarded as a symbol of status, power, and wealth, so perhaps it is not surprising that they have had such an endearing quality. But in recent years, signet rings have not only found their popularity rising, but it is also arguably at a point that they are more sought after than ever before.
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These rings, of course, were one of the earliest forms of personalised jewellery, as it has always been traditional for them to be monogrammed or customised with a family crest. Indeed, signet rings were once used as a stamp on letters. Today, however, it’s all about aesthetics and these rings make a handsome addition to anyone’s hand.
Modern signet rings are available in a broad range of styles and designs. But even more popular is buying a vintage signet ring – these having classic and enduring looks, with a timeless quality.
In this blog, we take a closer look at signet rings and what exactly has caused them to make such a successful comeback.
The history of the signet ring
The signet ring has a rather interesting history as jewellery goes. In days of yore, when someone wanted to send a letter, they wouldn’t use an envelope but would seal it with wax as proof it was unopened.
It was signet rings that were used to press into the wax and seal the documents. Amazingly, this practice goes back as far as ancient Egypt in the 4th century BC, where a ring with a back-to-front crest would be used to press into the wax to show the receiver who the letter had come from.
It became tradition that wealthy families would have their own family crest, and they would have signet rings featuring this crest. And while other methods of sealing letters became popular, signet rings retained the impression of a status symbol.
The gentleman’s ring?
Signet rings sometimes go by the nickname the ‘gentleman’s ring’, because they are seen as gentlemanly and as a signifier of status in society. However, it should be noted that one of the reasons that signet rings have been growing in popularity is a renewed interest in women wearing them. Many signet rings are now designed specifically for women.
This serves as a reminder that while signet rings do evoke a sense of gravitas and traditional values, they can also be seen as thoroughly modern and on trend.
An association with class
There’s no doubt that signet rings have a regal and classic air – but today, vintage signet rings can be seen simply as a connection to the past with a twist of modern style. Yes, signet rings have long been associated with tweed and land ownership – but you certainly don’t need to own a country estate to look great in a signet ring.
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Who wears a signet ring?
There might well be an idea of the kind of person who wears a signet ring; some of the words that might come to mind include stylish, sophisticated, powerful, and wealthy. Of course, in truth anyone can wear a signet ring and look great doing so.
It is certainly true that the resurgence in popularity of the signet ring comes, at least in part, from the fact that so many celebrities and well-known public personalities have been seen wearing them. The trend has caught on with everyone from Hollywood superstars through to British royalty – with many pictures emerging of stars wearing them.
Some of the famous names that regularly wear signet rings include King Charles III, Brad Pitt, Robert Pattinson, and more.
How should you wear a signet ring?
The traditional way to wear a signet ring is on the little (or ‘pinkie’) finger of the left hand. This is the way that the signet ring has been worn for many years – and it was especially popular with all forms of European royalty and even the Pope.
However, today there is a much more relaxed approach to signet rings. And while it is still most common to see them worn on the left little finger, you can wear your signet ring in any way that feels comfortable to you.
Indeed, it is common to see signet rings worn alongside a number of other rings. Given that signet rings are often such eye-catching pieces, they are usually best paired with plainer styles of ring. However, it should be said some have started to wear multiple signet rings alongside each other.
What are signet rings made from?
Most signet rings are made using gold – there are often a range of carats available. The classic looks of yellow gold are those most often associated with the signet ring, but they are also available in white gold as well as using other metals.
It is quite common for these rings to be enriched with precious gemstones – either a number of small gems, or one large gem. These have been seen in
almost every colour, shade, and size. So it really comes down to personal preference when it comes to choosing the right ring for you.
Signet ring or wedding ring?
One style that has been gaining a great deal of popularity comes from the idea of signet rings in place of a traditional men’s wedding ring. The enduring appeal of the signet ring makes it an excellent choice as a stunning alternative to the conventional wedding band. These are durable and long-lasting rings which stand up to the rigours of regular wear. This means that they are ideal as a wedding ring that you wear day-in, day-out.
Even less conventionally, there are examples of signet rings being used as a stunning engagement ring. It is a unique option that can appeal to those who are looking for something very special and different for their proposal.
If you are interested in purchasing a stunning signet ring, Cry for the Moon offers a broad range of options to suit every taste. It may be that you are looking for a ring that is going to be worn all year-round, or one that only comes out for special occasions. In either case, our team has years of experience and can help you find the perfect signet ring.