At Deakin & Francis, signet rings have been a huge part of our manufacturing history. Since 1786, we have handcrafted these desirable pieces of jewellery using techniques and expert craftsmanship that was used remains unchanged to this day. To understand the rich history and importance of a signet ring, the best place to start is what are signet rings?
What are signet rings?
Records show that signet rings have been worn and used since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs would wear gold rings with hand carved hieroglyphs. Signet rings are set apart from other rings due to the unique seal or crest engraved on the face of the ring. These seal engravings were used in history to be pushed into melted wax on important documents, that would leave an imprint of the wearer’s crest. Since then, signet rings have become increasingly more fashionable and the perfect family heirloom. For generations, fathers would pass down their signet rings to their sons with their own family crests on. Nowadays signet rings have become an increasingly modern trend and are the ultimate fashion accessory which anyone can wear. Whether you have a family crest or not, you can have whatever you choose engraved onto the ring.
What is the purpose of a signet ring?
Our handcrafted signet rings are made to last a lifetime, this is due to signet rings being the ultimate family heirloom. Being able to pass an item down through generations means that it becomes enriched with memories and stories of loved ones. The main purpose of a signet ring is to symbolise and immortalise family history and memories through something as small and special as a little gold ring. A Deakin & Francis signet ring is definitely something to be treasured forever.
What is the significance of a signet ring?
Signet rings were originally worn to show the status and power of the wearer. For those who could afford to adorn these rings it would show that they are a part of high society. The seal engraving is an important part of a signet ring. Traditionally one would have their family crest engraved to show they are from an important family. In recent years, due to the signet ring becoming a huge fashion statement the rules are changing. You can have whatever you would like engraved. From a monogram to your favourite cartoon character, almost anything could work. Before signet rings were used to show your status, now they are used to show your personality.
Are Signet rings just for men?
Certainly not, signet rings can be worn by absolutely anyone. In the past it may have been tradition for a man to wear a signet ring, however rules are made to be broken and traditions can change. In the past few years ladies signet rings are the hottest staple accessory for all occasions. Ladies start showing off your personality with a signet ring of your very own. Traditionally a signet ring would be given as a 21st birthday gift. Signet rings make the most perfect and memorable gift for all special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or graduations.
How to wear a signet ring
Signet rings are usually worn on your little finger. The reason for this throughout history has been to convey certain messages to others. In the Victorian era, both men and women would wear a Pinky ring to indicate that they had no intentions in pursuing marriage. Since then, people believe that wearing the signet ring on your little finger would symbolise intelligence, intuition and communication. Interestingly a recent believe is that if you wear a sterling silver signet ring on your little finger it can help maintain calmness.
How are our signet rings made?
All of our signet rings are made by hand in our Birmingham factory. The process of making a signet ring has as much history and heritage as the piece itself. Many companies have started to use more modern methods of creating a signet ring for ease and lowering costs. However, at Deakin & Francis we have avoided this route. Yes, modern methods can be quicker and lower the price of the piece, but they can also heavily compromise on the overall quality of the piece. Quality is a key value to us and not something we would compromise on. Investing in a handcrafted signet ring that’s is made to the highest quality is invaluable. Spending that little bit extra ensures that this piece is going to last for generations to come.
The step-by-step process:
– Source the high-quality metals
– Anneal the metal using high heat to alter the hardness of the metal
– Use a fly press to cut out the basic signet ring shape
– Use a drop stamp to form the shape
– Any excess metal is then trimmed off
– Re-annealed and shaped to the desired finger size
– The back of the shank is then soldered together
– The ring is then filed to shaped, buffed and polished
– All of our signet rings then go to the Birmingham Assay Office to be hallmarked
– Re-polished and then a seal engraving can be added
– One final polish to make the signet ring gleam and the ring is ready for its new home
If you are keen to learn more or discuss crafting your very own signet ring, contact our team today.