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Custom made signet ring Vs off the shelf - what's the difference?

Custom made signet ring Vs off the shelf - what's the difference?

Thinking about buying a signet ring? Wondering what the difference is between custom made and off the shelf?

In this article I'll explain the key differences between the two, including time frame, quality and pricing, so you can make an informed decision.

What are off-the-shelf signet rings?

As the name suggests, off-the-shelf signet rings are pre-made for immediate purchase. They can be found in the cabinets of many retail jewellery stores alongside other popular jewellery, such as engagement and wedding rings, pendants and earrings.

What are the pros of off-the-shelf signet rings?

- You can buy them straight away. Because they are pre-made, they are ready for immediate purchase. This means there is little to no wait time - so long as your ring fits you, you can take it away with you on the day.

- You can try it on. Like other off-the-shelf jewellery you can try it on before you buy. This is a great way of seeing whether it suits you, what finger you might like to wear it on, and whether the type of metal complements your skin tone.

- Selection. Generally retail jewellery stores have a good collection in stock so you can try on a few different styles to get a good gauge of what you like.

- Cheaper. Due to the style of manufacturing, quality and amount of metal, mass produced signet rings are lower in price than custom made ones.

What are the cons of off-the-shelf signet rings?

- Lower quality. Many jewellery retailers sell mass produced signet rings that are not as high in quality as signet rings crafted by manufacturing jewellers. For example, they can be hollow or plated, so they are not as durable and won't last as long. 

- Not personalised. Because they are not made to order you don't have any say in what details you would like on your signet ring - such as metal, carat, size, top shape, stones and engraving. What you see is what you buy. Sometimes jewellery retailers offer resizing and/or an engraving service, so you might be able to have an insignia engraved depending on the store.

What are the pros of custom made signet rings?

- Personalisation. One of the best things about having a signet ring custom made is that you can work directly with the jeweller to design your ring. For example, At Benjamin Black you can choose the precious metal, size, top shape, finish and type of engraving you would like.

- Longevity. Signet rings handmade by a manufacturing jeweller are much higher in quality than mass produced rings. Always talk to your preferred jeweller before it is made to check the quality, but generally they will be solid rather than hollowed out underneath. At Benjamin Black we want our signet rings to last for generations, so every ring is made to the highest standard with quality precious metals.

- Work with the jeweller. If you buy a ring off-the-shelf from a jewellery retail store chances are you won't have any idea who made the ring - or even how it was made. If you order a custom signet ring from a manufacturing jeweller you can meet and even work with the jeweller who will be making your ring. It's special to know the person making your precious piece!

What are the cons of custom made signet rings?

- Lead time. Because each ring is made to order it may take some time for your ring to be made. The ring itself will need to be crafted, but you'll also need to work with the designers to create the insignia for your engraving. At Benjamin Black the entire process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks, depending on the project.

- Higher cost. The time, skill and quality of a custom made signet ring means they are generally higher in price than pre-made ones, however like most things in life, you get what you pay for! 

Now you know the key differences between custom made signet rings and off-the-shelf ones, to help you decide which option is best for you.

Whatever you choose, be sure to ask about warranties to ensure your investment is covered should you experience a manufacturing fault.

If you're thinking about ordering a custom made signet ring, get in touch with our signet ring specialists at Benjamin Black - we would love to chat about your unique design.



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