Signet Ring Recreation

For many years now, men of all classes have been wearing Signet rings, however, this was not always the case.

In centuries past Signet rings were only worn by gentlemen who happened to be entitled to wear them, often these rings bore a symbol that was unique to the owner, and served as a seal. So the Signet, in name and concept served a dual purpose and was one of the first rings to have a practical use.

Throughout the ages Signet rings have been made of many different materials, in the middle ages most rings were either gold or silver with a symbol cast in the bezel, the part of a ring which is wider and usually thicker than the hoop. In more recent time many Signet rings have had the symbol engraved on a semi-precious stone, with typical stones being sardonyx, carnelian, lapis lazuli and bloodstone, this has allowed for seals to be more elaborate.

Recently a client of ours came to us with a signet ring, which was a family heirloom and was quite badly damaged. The stone was in pieces in the setting where it had been cracked badly. The shank of the ring was also badly misshapen and required resizing. To begin with we sourced a stone that matched the existing stone perfectly in colour. Historically, sardonyx has been used within signet rings as it reveals two colours once it is carved into. The old stone had come away from the shank, where it crumbled completely into pieces. So we set about resizing the shank and polishing the new stone set into it.

When it comes to engraving a piece like this there are several options, a simple surface engraving, a seal engraving, or have a gemstone carved into, for this particular ring we decided to seal engrave, engraving in this way is rare, time-consuming and performed by a highly skilled gliptician, who engraves by hand, a practice that has been performed for thousands of years.

We were extremely excited to see the ring finally come back and it completely surpassed our expectations, it looked beautiful and the client even got to take away the seal.

 

              The practice of engraving by hand has been performed for thousands of years