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What is a Signet Ring?

Signet rings are a classic band that has seen a resurgence in modern times and so you may have asked yourself this question. Traditionally a masculine piece of jewellery signet rings have become a popular style among both men and women. Historically worn by royalty, these unique bands have transitioned over time into what we know and love today. Perfect for adding a touch of class and sentiment to your jewellery collection, understanding this ring design is key to wearing them with confidence.

The History of the Signet Ring

The signet ring was initially a seal for authentication in early societies, later bearing unique engravings like family crests by the 10th century. Originally for royals, by the 13th century, they became accessible to all citizens retaining their role in signing papers. Over time, they transitioned from essential tools to decorative symbols of heritage. Today, signet rings mark special occasions and serve as cherished family heirlooms, although no longer used for legal signatures.

The Meaning of Signet Rings

The historical meaning of 'signet' is that of 'a small seal.' This engraved jewellery was generally used for sealing papers, letters, and important documents by the upper echelons of society. On account of this, signet rings were often referred to as 'gentlemen's rings.' Since their start they have grown in popularity in women also.

In modern times what a signet ring is has changed. Often given as a coming of age gift, at either 18 or 21, they symbolise a moment in an individual's life. In particular, the cross from childhood to adulthood. Much like the meaning of eternity rings, and the meaning of promise rings, this makes signet rings a very sentimental piece for a vast number of wearers.

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To know what a signet ring is, you must first know how to identify one. Signet rings are characterised by a raised, flat surface that sits above the rest of the ring. This surface normally houses an engraving, from a person's monogram to their family crest. Commonly they will either be cast in gold or sterling silver, but can also be rose gold.
When it comes to rings, we often wonder which finger they should be placed on. With engagement rings, wedding rings, and eternity rings having a specific finger, you may wonder if signet rings do too. This classic piece is traditionally worn on the pinky finger, but it does not have to be worn here. Instead it could be worn as a statement ring on the thumb or any other finger - it's all up to how you prefer to style it.
Once you know what a signet ring is, you may be intrigued by this historical item. No longer representing nobility, these rings can be a gorgeous piece that anyone can own and wear. As there are no rules as to who can wear these classy bands, if you'd like to own one you can!

Modern & Engravable Women's Signet Rings

At Monica Vinader, we have a beautiful range of silver and gold signet rings. Our designs put a modern twist on the classic shape. Our engravable options allow you to make your piece personal to you. Whether you choose to have your own initials engraved or a lucky number, these wearable rings will become an essential part of all your ensembles. What your signet ring is and means is entirely up to you.

Ethics are at the heart of everything we do, which is why we sell sustainable rings crafted from recycled silver and gold vermeil. Using these metals, recyclable packaging, and being carbon neutral means you get the best quality with the lowest impact on the planet. For those wishing to opt for a ring encrusted with gemstones, we only use ethical and conflict-free diamonds.

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Sustainable Jewellery from Monica Vinader

Pairing wearable design with ethical materials, we create jewellery to bring confidence to your day. Our collection of pearl jewellery, helix earrings and studs are sure to elevate your style to the next level.