A long time ago, a signet ring was not just a beautiful ornament on an important person’s hand, but an essential accessory required for conducting public and private affairs. It got to play an important role in culture and history. Today, a signet has lost its original function of verifying documents. Instead of it, it has acquired the role of popular men's jewelry.
The history of men's signets begins in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. In Mesopotamia, men's signet rings were a symbol of power and high social status. Signets were used as a stamp to seal and certify messages and documents. Back then, gold signets were worn either around the neck like a pendant or on a finger.
Along with the sealing function, men's signets acquired a special occult role in ancient Egypt. It was believed that they protected their owners from evil spirits. Silver- and goldsmiths decorated signets with special symbols and precious stones. A man wearing a signet ring let everybody know about his special status; obviously, he was not an ordinary person.
In the Middle Ages, men's signets served as a personal signature. They featured noble families’ coat of arms. The coats of arms were engraved as a mirror image so that the imprint would display it properly. The stamp was applied either directly on the ring’s metal surface or on a semi-precious stone such as amethyst.
Kings, dukes, and earls, if needed to seal a letter or to certify an important document, held a ring over a candle’s flame and put an imprint on sealing wax. Only wealthy people and important public figures such as state rulers, religious leaders, notable aristocrats, famous doctors, and lawyers could afford to have a signet. The rich could have several exclusive seals while the less wealthy families kept a single copy and passed it on from one generation to another.
The Most Famous Signet
Probably the most famous signet in history is The Ring of the Fisherman, otherwise known as the Piscatory Ring. It is one of the main attributes of the Pope. This signet weighs about 35 grams and is made of beautiful white gold. The ring has a stone inset, which depicts the holy Apostle Peter fishing with a net. Until the middle of the XIX century, Popes put a personal stamp on their letters with the Piscatory ring. When a Pope died and his place was taken by a new one, his signet ring was destroyed. A new Pope obtained a custom made Ring of the Fisherman with his design and/or initials.
In our time and age, a men's signet has lost the function of personal signature, although it can still be used for its intended purpose. Nevertheless, even today, signets are an important attribute of a modern man. They are capable of emphasizing his style and status, just like a chic executive car.
The Difference Between a Ring and Signet
Signets are worn on a finger, they are jewelry pieces, and they have a lot in common with rings, yet they are not exactly rings.
A ring is an item shaped like a metal band. People wear rings as a symbol of marriage or simply as a body ornament. A ring can be either smooth (with an engraved inscription or without it) or featuring stone inlays.
A signet ring is a massive piece of jewelry with wide shanks and featuring no stone inlays. Instead, it features a round, square, or rectangular plate or platform that carries the initials of the owner, coat of arms, or a fashionable drawing. Although signets carry no stones, there are always exceptions to this rule. Jewelers sometimes add a halo of small, normally, clear stones around the signet’s plate. Alternatively, a signet may feature a large flat piece of stone, bone, or Ivory with engraving.
Silver Signets – the Best Choice for a Man
There are several reasons to purchase silver signet rings, despite the fact that they have not been used for their intended purpose.
Silver is a noble and precious metal, which is considered to be truly masculine. It looks great on the hand of a bold and confident male. The color and subtle sparkling of silver jewelry emphasize the strength of a man’s hand. A solid and heavy signet ring gives its owner a special charm, shows his self-confidence, and contributes to a meticulous look.
Silver rings are an unpretentious luxury. Despite the fact that a silver signet ring speaks of special status, it is more restrained than gold jewelry and its price is more affordable. Gold jewelry is more likely to cause an allergic reaction, not to mention the fact that that gold is more attractive to thieves. Silver features no such drawbacks.
Silver signet is an accessory that flawlessly emphasizes a man's business style. Even in combination with a stone or a noticeable engraving, a silver ring does not contradict the requirements of the dress code and business etiquette. Unlike gold, it does not stand out. On the contrary, it complements the strict official style of a black and white suit.
Men’s Signet Rings – the Perfect Addition to Any Style
Confident successful men who wear silver rings are no longer a rarity on the modern cities’ streets. With such an accessory, men are able to emphasize their status, individuality, unique taste, and style.
Young people prefer more concise, modestly adorned models with leather or zircons inlays or even free of any extra inserts. For more mature men, rings are an opportunity to emphasize their status, as well as a reminder to maintain their image. Therefore, they prefer more sophisticated rings featuring precious and semi-precious stones. Creative and energetic people usually prefer emerald rings while romantics choose sapphires. If you appreciate extreme minimalism, go for a ring with a relief print but without inlays.
Men's silver signets are able to emphasize the best character traits of their owners. They are a great option for stylish, aristocratic, and original males. Such rings are fascinating and are able to instantly catch glimpses due to their openwork design. Tough men of strong-willed and ardent temper prefer silver signets. Typically, these men have large burly arms, and a signet is able to enhance the overall impression of a solid and strong male hand.