Custom Signet Rings: Buying Guide for 2024
5 Minute Read
Signet rings are having a moment. The market for personalized jewelry continues to grow and customizable designs like signet rings are in high demand. There is a huge variety of shapes and sizes that signet rings take, and these rings can reflect any personality. They make a statement, they can be worn by men and women alike and the personal touch makes them an ideal gift and heirloom piece.
Signet rings are characterized by a raised, flat surface - a "bezel" on which designs can be carved or inlaid. Contemporary signet ring designs include stamping symbols or letters onto the flat surface of the ring. Also, gemstones can be incorporated into designs either as small accents or larger stones that cover the entire surface of the bezel and feature intaglio carvings.
Finally, don't neglect the sides of your signet ring. They are also blank canvases that can be embellished to your liking. Here are some ideas to help you commission and design your own bespoke signet ring.
A great place to start examining the various reasons to design a personalized signet ring is with one of its most important historical purposes, i.e. a family crest. Historically, these heraldic seals were designed using symbols that were somehow associated with the recipient. These symbols included wildlife (real and mythical), foliage, religious symbols, and weapons.
If you want to design your own crest, you have a great deal of freedom to pick and choose images that have strong sentimental value to you. For instance, if you feel a strong connection to where you grew up, you might choose a beautiful plant that is native to that area.
Other people feel a bond with certain animal species. Maybe you are deeply religious and want to choose images that relate to your faith. The sky truly is the limit.
The world of athletics uses signet rings to honor triumphs. Sports played on a professional level may offer elaborate rings to celebrate important wins. Whether a team wins the NFL Super Bowl or becomes NBA champions, extravagant rings are fashioned for winning teams from precious metals and feature many carats of gemstones. Championship rings typically have a standard design that sometimes can feature personalized details such as an individual's initials or their position within the team.
Fortunately, you don't have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy a custom sports-themed signet ring. As anything can be engraved on the flat surface and the sides of the ring, and you can work with a designer to create the perfect, one-of-a-kind ring that celebrates your athletic successes or those of your loved ones.
Whether you are a competitive horseback rider, swimmer, boxer, or skier, you can fashion a signet ring tailored to your interests.
Many people believe that an individual's astrological sign influences both their personality and relationships with other people. How many times have you heard someone say "oh, you're a Scorpio, we will be friends!" or, "he's a water sign, you will never connect." Accordingly, there is a sizable niche of the jewelry market that specializes in astrological symbols. You can imprint on a signet ring your zodiac sign or the sign of a loved one.
While signet rings have a basic outline, there are quite a few ways to utilize gemstones to make your ring extra special. Like some ancient cultures, you can set a large gem that covers the full surface of your bezel. Remember, gems don't have to take up the whole surface of the ring. Indeed, they don't have to be set on the bezel face at all. You can use small stones that accent your unique design.
Your choice of gem can also carry a meaning of its own. For example, birthstones are meaningful to many and are recognized around the world. Whether you are a June baby and want to use tiny seed pearls, or were born in September and feel a connection to sapphires, birthstones are another design element that can strengthen the personal connection to the wearer.
Beyond birthstones, gems also stand on their own with unique meanings and properties. For instance, emeralds are associated with the natural world due to their rich green hue. As the color of a hearty ecosystem, people prize emeralds for their connection to health, fertility, and security. It is said that wearing an emerald can help you see through lies. Likewise, it is no surprise that the blue of aquamarine gems has fostered a connection with water because it's supposed to offer its wearer physical safety as well as emotional stability. Adding a gemstone whose lore you connect to your signet ring can be the perfect final touch to a fabulous custom design.
Emily Frontiere is a GIA Graduate Gemologist. She is particularly experienced working with estate/antique jewelry.
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