In its most simple definition, the signet ring’s name originates from the Latin word signum, meaning sign. From as far back as 3500 BC religious leaders and pharaohs would use them to mark on sale documents by pressing the faces, which were historically marked with a unique family crest carved in reverse into hot wax, signifying the authenticity of the document without concern for forgery or tampering. But beyond its primitive use, the signet ring came to embody something metaphorical.
A Roman hardstone intaglio ring, the cornelian intaglio finely carved with a winged figure of cupid holding a beribboned staff, riding a mythical creature, with the head of a lion and the body of a goat, rub-over set within a yellow gold elliptical tapering shank,1st-2nd century AD
The individual personal design of a signet ring wielded power and authority; because emblems were indispensable, the owner could keep his symbol under control on his own finger and even transfer the supremacy through to its owner’s designated heir, thus connecting the next generation to their family ancestry.
Although handwritten signatures took precedence over wax seals during the 19th and 20th centuries, the popularity of signet rings endured: but with a change in function to that of fashion.
Precious and semi-precious stones such as sapphire and bloodstone were used to fill the face of the ring on which crests taken from the family coat of arms would be engraved. Traditionally worn only by men, and usually on the little finger, the signet ring has evolved and withstood the test of time. Nowadays, these fascinating rings are worn by both men and women as witnessed by the popularity of the classic Bentley & Skinner signet ring.
1. Create Your Own Signet Ring
Explore the steps to create a customised Bentley & Skinner signet ring. Once you have decided on the elements of your unique ...Read More
2. About the Bentley & Skinner Signet Ring
Offering the best of British tradition and understated elegance, Bentley & Skinner have been supplying signet rings since 1880.Read More
4. The Manufacture Of Signet Rings
The Bentley & Skinner signet ring is meticulously handcrafted and hand finished in our Mayfair premises using traditional techniques ...Read More
5. Signet Ring Engraving
The finishing touch to any signet ring is the engraving. Bentley & Skinner are proud to have access to the UK’s finest hand ...Read More
6. Heraldry & Coats Of Arms
Designed to be proud and powerful, the coat of arms is somewhat shrouded in mystery and allure, but remains a popular choice ...Read More
7. The Etiquette Of Wearing A Signet Ring
The traditional way to wear a signet ring it to wear it on the little finger of the non-dominant hand. Thus, the standard is for the ring ...Read More