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A massive and refined ring, the signet ring has a prestigious history behind it . It has existed for millennia and is intended to be a symbol of nobility. Now, it comes in many shapes, engraved, encrusted with precious stones.

The signet ring naturally finds its place in the Castafiore catalog, specializing in old, vintage and second-hand luxury jewelry.

History and meaning of the signet ring

The signet ring is a massive piece of jewelry , historically made in gold. It is traditionally decorated with a carved emblem , such as a coat of arms, initials or symbols.

If the first signet rings of which we find traces date back around 4000 years, they only arrived in France in the Middle Ages. The nobles then use this “signal ring” as a seal to seal their document. In this way they affix their emblem, like a signature, to the wax.

This function became rarer over time, but the signet ring became popular again from the 18th century. The elites wear it to signal their belonging to the great lineages. She thus embodies nobility. The ring reinvented itself, since in the 19th century we found jewelry decorated with engraved precious and semi-precious stones.

Due to their very beautiful craftsmanship and their strong symbolism, signet rings are passed down from generation to generation . They are part of the heritage of great families, but not only that. Many people opt for the signet ring, in order to leave an exceptional piece of jewelry to their children and grandchildren.

The 21st century marks a new era for this jewel, freed from its elitist symbolism. Today, the signet ring still embodies ultimate elegance and refinement, but it can be worn by everyone.

What are the different engraving techniques for a signet ring?

The engraving is a historical element of the signet ring , which makes it easily recognizable. It is no longer essential, since the ring is more and more ornamental and is distinguished essentially by its massive appearance. However, ancient jewelry is often engraved in various ways.

Heraldic engraving is the most authentic technique, since it is carried out by hand by master engravers. The metal is carefully removed to create an intaglio engraving, traditionally corresponding to the coat of arms, initials or symbols chosen by a family. It can be practiced on metal or precious stone. This method of great finesse is a true historical and artistic heritage.

Intaglio engraving is similar in every way, with the exception that this goldsmith's work does not consist of reproducing symbols or coats of arms. Here, the pattern is mainly ornamental, achieved through careful incision of the metal to create reliefs and shapes.

Machine engraving is carried out with a diamond point or laser. It allows you to make a very large number of engravings, including very elaborate ones. This gives rings with more original shapes, with superb ornamental patterns.

Finally, the engraving can be carried out on metal or on a precious or semi-precious stone. The latter is then placed on the ring plate.

How to wear a signet ring?

The signet ring comes in a very beautiful variety of styles and shapes . Its top can be round, oval, square or even octagonal. Often flat, this part, called the plateau, is decorated with a monogram, coat of arms, a symbol or an ornamental engraving. It can also accommodate a precious stone, engraved or not. There are also blank rings, with a very minimalist look.

It is therefore entirely possible to find the signet ring that suits your style, whatever it may be. You can also opt for yellow gold – the most traditional on this piece of jewelry – or white gold, but also for silver, platinum, and even pink gold. On the stone side, it can be decorated with agate, amethyst, emerald, jasper, ruby, sapphire or even diamonds.

The signet ring has long been reserved for powerful and literate elites. Very often, it was worn by men. Today, men and women can wear this refined and elegant jewel. It is indeed the timeless ring par excellence, which can give a very sophisticated touch or on the contrary a rock air to any look.

However, historical heritage has an influence on the way this ring is worn. It is therefore traditionally placed on the left little finger for the eldest, and on the right little finger for other siblings. It can also be placed on the ring finger, in the absence of a wedding ring. If it is offered as an engagement ring, the ideal is to wear it on the ring finger of the left hand.

These codes are traditions, but they are not immutable rules. It is therefore entirely possible to wear these rings as you wish, depending on your taste, your style and your comfort. The necklace ring is also a big trend to which the signet ring lends itself perfectly.

Discover the signet rings authenticated by Castafiore experts

Would you like to treat yourself to a signet ring , a piece of jewelry steeped in history and tradition? Nothing better than opting for an old, vintage or second-hand object. At Castafiore, we offer you many luxury signet rings, with or without signature. Each piece is appraised and authenticated, in collaboration with Sancy Expertise, to guarantee you a high quality piece of jewelry, at the best price.

By choosing an old, vintage or second-hand signet ring, you are opting for a piece of jewelry that has a story. Our sales platform presents you with a large catalog of old (before 1950), vintage (more than 20 years old) or pre-owned, second-hand rings. Find the signet ring of your dreams among these carefully selected rare pieces.

Do you want to part with a signet ring ? We offer to appraise your jewelry and sell it in our catalog, among all the exceptional pieces that make it up. Contact Castafiore and get the fairest price for your old, vintage or used luxury ring.