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ETERNAL SYMBOLS: SIGNET SEAL RINGS

ETERNAL SYMBOLS: SIGNET SEAL RINGS

We all love a good signature piece of jewelry – this week we take that idea to a new (or rather, ancient) level with a discussion of signet rings! Guess what predates the written word? Yup, signet seals. Seals in ancient Mesopotamia were used by literally everyone, from royals to laymen who used them as a "signature" to legitimize commerce (much in the same way that we sign for packages received by mail today). These ancient seals were pictorial (since words weren't a thing yet) and usually depicted trade items, like heads of cattle or sheaths of wheat. 

The earliest seals were actually in the form of a tiny cylinder worn on a necklace, but eventually popular use shifted to the ring form. In the Middle Ages signet seals became the purview of royals, religious leaders, merchants, and government officials. The seal was seen as more difficult to forge than a signature, and therefore was the preferred method for sanctioning sensitive correspondence and officiating contracts. 

Since seals were circulated among the upper echelons of society, their iconography grew to elevate the status of their owners by incorporating fine, detailed engravings and the use of precious metals (as opposed to the soft stones used in antiquity). Family crests evolved alongside signet seals as important symbols of power and wealth. 

In today's digital world we no longer have use for seals in the practical sense, but we still love and revere them as a tangible symbol of identity. Signet seals can be engraved with emblems of self or family (i.e. initials, names, or crests) or vintage signet seals can be adopted as an assertion of personal style. We're even a huge fan of the smooth, shiny planes of a blank signet ring. Many signets today also include precious stones (who doesn't love a little sparkle?).

 
Below are some of our current stunning signets!

      • SIGNET SEAL RINGSHERALDIC MERCHANT SIGNET RING
      • Vintage
      • Sail the seven seas in style with this 18th century vintage signet seal. Depicting grapes and a merchant ship - perhaps this bauble graced the finger of a wealthy vintner. Bottoms up!  

        • SIGNET SEAL RINGSRHOMBUS SIGNET
        • Lauren Wolf
        • A classic. Lauren's rhombus ring in yellow gold is a slice of pure, golden heaven. The rhombus works well in a stack, and has luster and shine for days.  

          • SIGNET SEAL RINGSGOLD SHIELD SIGNET RING
          • Vintage
          • Simple and elegant, a Chester signet shield is a timeless signet style. We love the bold carved shoulders of this particular piece.  

            • SIGNET SEAL RINGSMEN'S GOLD SIGNET
            • Vintage
            • A stag, a knight... a consummate bachelor, a lover of the chase? Whether you're flying solo or simply a fan of all that is big and bold, this signet is a serious power player.  

              • SIGNET SEAL RINGSSIGNET MARQUISE RING
              • Lauren Wolf
              • An all seeing eye symbolized by a 3.52ct diamond delight in 18k yellow gold. A talisman to wear on the daily.   

                • SIGNET SEAL RINGSGRIFFIN SIGNET
                • Vintage
                • A strong griffin is shown in portrait-style profile on this 18k yellow gold treasure. A symbol of protection and power, the griffin is a fierce fighter to have in your corner.  

                  • SIGNET SEAL RINGSDIAMOND BAUHAUS RING
                  • Adeline
                  • Inspired by the early mid century art school, Adeline's Bauhaus Ring is a Modern marvel. A very sparkly signet if we do say so.  

                    • SIGNET SEAL RINGSDOUBLE SHIELD SIGNET RING
                    • Vintage
                    • When two families become one... this stunning signet was probably first made to commemorate the joining of two families through marriage. We love the royal crown detail. A regal choice for a contemporary wearer.