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Accueil / The signet ring, a symbol

The signet ring, a symbol

The signet ring, also known as a sigil ring, is a mythical piece of jewelry that takes the form of a ring with a large bezel on which initials or coats of arms are engraved. Vintage masculine jewel par excellence, it can also be worn by women. If today, the ring for men is very trendy, in the past, this jewel was reserved for a certain social category and had a strong symbolism.

The origins of the signet ring

antique egypt signet ring
Ring on behalf of Oudjahorresné
Musée du Louvre/C. Decamps

The signet ring has its origins, 4,000 years ago, in Ancient Egypt. At that time, jewelry was imbued with symbolism, an indicator of the wearer’s social class. The signet ring of Ancient Egypt is then decorated with hieroglyphs and is worn in yellow gold only. It was used to impose its authority or to seal commercial transactions. Moreover, jewels represented, for the Egyptians, a protection against the threats.

In France, the wearing of the signet ring goes back to the Middle Ages, at the time of the chivalry which gave it its name. It was often offered as a sign of engagement and was then worn on the right little finger of the future groom (unless he was the eldest in the family). In addition to this romantic side, the signet ring was worn by the nobles and allowed them to sign with a wax seal the official documents. In fact, in order for the coat of arms or the initials to be readable on the wax seal, they were engraved upside down in the bezel of the signet ring.

In the 14th century, it became widespread and all nobles wore a signet ring. It is a symbol of authority par excellence.

A little later, the heraldic signet rings appeared, presenting the family coat of arms.

Quality that can’t be beat

The signet rings are imposing rings, worn daily, which has forced jewelers to take particular care in their manufacture.

A signet ring is preferably made of 18 karat gold, with a solid head to ensure a long life. It is this quality that allows it to be passed on from generation to generation.

The signet ring today

Forgotten for a while, the signet ring became popular again at the beginning of the 18th century. Its large tray is enriched, little by little, with precious stones or enamel. It is appreciated today for its volume and gives its wearer a virile look.

It can still be worn today to show membership in a closed group, whether a noble or royal family or, for example, Freemasonry. But, it can also be worn simply as an accessory.

Offer a signet ring to a man

It is not always easy to choose a jewel for a man because it must be in phase with his style and can have an important symbolism. The ring has acquired, over the centuries, an important sentimental dimension in the collective imagination. Alliance and ring of fidelity materialize the union between two people. When a woman gives a ring to a man, it is often synonymous with commitment.

The signet ring is a unique, timeless and elegant jewel.

To give even more meaning to your purchase, prefer a vintage signet ring in 18K gold. And if you are lucky enough to find one of these little treasures with your initials (like “MC” below), don’t hesitate.

18 karat yellow gold signet ring
18 karat yellow gold signet ring

Ladies, be reassured, the signet ring can also be worn by women!

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