Signet ring, also referred to as seal ring, should be part of every gentleman’s collection . Historically they were usually passed down to him by his father or grandfather. The rings bear an engraved signet, and have a large and illustrious history attached to them. These days signet rings are worn purely as an accessory but in the olden days, they served an important purpose.
Here is a brief history of signet rings, and what it means in today’s society:
Usage of Signet rings as a seal
Signet rings were used as a seal or signature in the olden days, when we did not have the luxury of electronic devices. The ring would feature an emblem, the family crest or monogram and be used to sign legal documents in business and politics. The ring would be dipped in hot clay or wax and leave a distinct seal that would be considered as the official signature. The rings served as a personal identifiable mark of the person who wore it.
Significance of Signet rings in ancient and medieval times
Signet rings have been used as seals since ancient times i.e. 3500 BC to be precise. The people in Mesopotamia rolled cylindrical devices across wet clay, leaving an impression on it. This is how they sealed packages and jars. Pharaohs and nobles in Egypt used to wear signet rings made of stone. The rings would be flat on one side, inscribed with symbols and hieroglyphs.
In the medieval ages, letters were signed and sealed with signet rings. In the fourteenth century, King Edward II announced that all government documents would bear the seal of the King’s signet ring. The rings would often be destroyed once their wearer died, which is why authentic signet rings are a rarity.
Signet rings in today’s day and age
Today, signet rings are worn as a personal style statement. Some fraternities and organisations such as the freemasons, give signet rings to their members.They are also gifted by clubs, corporations and families as a graduation gift. Military men are also found wearing signet rings reflecting their status or the branch they served with. These days signet rings are also worn for weddings. These rings also work well as gifts for birthdays or anniversaries. If you do choose to present someone with an extravagant gift such as this, be sure to pick an engraving that is unique.