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What is the meaning of a signet ring?

What is the meaning of a signet ring?

Signet rings derive from the Latin word signum meaning sign. At Benjamin Black, our custom signet rings are made to the highest standard of quality and design, using precious metals and goldsmithing techniques to ensure your signet ring lasts forever.

Whether your signet ring is being worn as a fashion statement, a wedding ring, or a family heirloom, the modern meaning of a signet ring is to tell your individual story.

However, signet rings have been around for centuries, dating as far back as 3500 BC. The people of Mesopotamia, a historical region of Western Asia, used seals as marks of authenticity. This is where the corporate seal, which is still used by some companies today, originally came from.

Ancient Signet Ring

Early signet rings were engraved with a family crest. They would be used to stamp, or sign a document. Metal shapes would leave a permanent mark in any soft wax (or clay) when sealing documents. At this time, stamps were more important than signatures. 

Influential people used signet rings to confirm the authenticity of documents. Not only did they look impressive, they were designed with a practical purpose.

Signet Ring Ancient

Throughout the 19th century, signet rings were engraved with family crests, rebuses, monograms and religious symbols in different colours of metals and gemstones. They were markers of identity providing insight in the people that wore them.

Now signet rings are a stylish expression of individuality. They can be worn by men or women, and engraved with whatever you choose. 

At Benjamin Black we custom make signet rings in your desired precious metal, size and type of engraving -  either laser engraved, or traditional hand engraved.
The most popular types of engravings are still crests and monograms, however we are also getting more requests for pets, custom crests, company logos and symbols. 

Browse our signet ring gallery or our Instagram for inspiration, or contact us directly by email on or call +64 3 546 9137 to enquire about ordering your custom signet ring.


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