The Story of Signet Rings

The Story of Signet Rings
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Posted in: Jewelry

Now a trending jewelry accessories in today’s market, signet rings once served great historical purpose. The term “signet” or “seal,” from the Latin “sigillum,” dates back to at least the late 13th century. At this time, the signet ring served as a small seal used as a signature for official documents before widespread literacy. Men have been wearing the signet for more than 4,000 years and their first use potentially traces back to ancient Egypt.

Signet rings were even discovered in the tombs of rulers and religious leaders. These rings were symbols of authority and provided authenticity, as the seal could not open without damaging its mark. They marked documents, doorways and even sealed tombs.

The designs on these rings were often identifiable markings for the person wearing them. Coat of arms or family crests were popular.

Currently, signet rings are worn as a fashion and personal statement, rather than as a means of identification. Some are still engraved with a family crest, while others have their wearer’s initials, or another custom design. Many are even set with precious stones and diamonds.

This signet-style trend of personalization has become quite popular and has extended to necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Many high-end jewelry designers are now putting their own spin on the covetable signet, including Tiffany & Co. and David Yurman.

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