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Signet Rings

The people of Mesopotamia were probably the first to use signet rings starting around the year 3500 B.C. Initially, softer materials like ivory and softer gemstones were used in signet rings, but as technology progressed, harder stones were also used.

Signet rings were usually engraved with a crest in a mirror image. The ring was pressed in hot wax to officiate documents relating to trade and politics, and this crest was engraved in either the gold of the ring itself or in a semi-precious gemstone that was set into the stone.

Today, people don’t need signet rings for that specific purpose, yet the ring is still very popular. For men, it is a very accepted piece of jewelry to own next to their watch and wedding ring. The crest is often replaced by engraved initials or a faceted or cabochon (semi-precious) stone.

Although usually worn on the ring finger opposite the hand with the wedding band, some men prefer to wear their signet ring on their pinky. Therefore, a signet ring is sometimes also referred to as a "pinky ring."


Quick Facts

  • When a new pope is selected, a signet ring is made especially for him, depicting Saint Peter in a fishing boat and the pope’s name. Although he doesn’t use his ring to officiate documents anymore, one of the first things that is done after his death is still to destroy the ring
  • Signet rings were always passed on from father to son when he took “reign” of the family. This tradition is still held in some families
  • One very prominent man who wears his signet ring on his pinky is Prince Charles of Wales

Recommended Items at Auction

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Two 9ct Yellow Gold Signet Rings including Star Sapphire & Onyx & Diamond
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
Two 9ct Yellow Gold Signet Rings including Star Sapphire & Onyx & Diamond
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD220- AUD280
AUD2805 Bids
An 18ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring, Birmingham, 1945
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
An 18ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring, Birmingham, 1945
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD2004 Bids
A GENTS 9CT GOLD INTAGLIO ONYX SIGNET RING
Feb 29, 3:30 PM AEDT
A GENTS 9CT GOLD INTAGLIO ONYX SIGNET RING
by Lawsons
Est: AUD400- AUD500
AUD803 Bids
A 9ct Yellow Gold Square Top Diamond Signet Ring, Original Paper Box
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
A 9ct Yellow Gold Square Top Diamond Signet Ring, Original Paper Box
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD1802 Bids
A 14ct Yellow Gold Oval Garnet Signet Ring
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
A 14ct Yellow Gold Oval Garnet Signet Ring
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2502 Bids
Signet ring, with initials, approx 5gms, no markings
Feb 25, 10:00 AM AEDT
Signet ring, with initials, approx 5gms, no markings
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD702 Bids
A 9ct Rose Gold Signet Ring, Split Band
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
A 9ct Rose Gold Signet Ring, Split Band
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD1001 Bid
An 18ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring with Scroll Detail
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
An 18ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring with Scroll Detail
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD3001 Bid
RING, GOLD SEAL TYPE, DIAMONDS AND ONYX
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CET
RING, GOLD SEAL TYPE, DIAMONDS AND ONYX
by Ansorena
Est: €825- €1,100
€5500 Bids
14 kt geelgouden ring met ovale wit/rode lagenstee…
Feb 28, 7:00 PM CET
14 kt geelgouden ring met ovale wit/rode lagenstee…
by Veilinghuis Van Spengen
Est: €300- €400
€1500 Bids
YELLOW GOLD SEAL RING AND STONE
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CET
YELLOW GOLD SEAL RING AND STONE
by Ansorena
Est: €825- €1,100
€5500 Bids
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Signet ring engraved with a coat of arms in an oval lodestone,
Mar 02, 11:00 AM CET
Signet ring engraved with a coat of arms in an oval lodestone,
by Auktionshaus Eppli
Est: €440- €550
€4400 Bids
An ancient signet ring. 18K gold inlaid with a green stone
Mar 03, 6:00 PM IST
An ancient signet ring. 18K gold inlaid with a green stone
by Alma
Est: $1,800- $2,200
$1,6000 Bids
14 kt gold gents signet ring
Mar 01, 12:00 PM CET
14 kt gold gents signet ring
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €300- €1,200
€2800 Bids
Signet with musical mechanism: Berlocke around 1820, probably Geneva
Mar 02, 4:30 PM CET
Signet with musical mechanism: Berlocke around 1820, probably Geneva
by Cortrie Spezial Auktionen
Est: €1,600- €3,500
€1,6000 Bids
Alton 18K yellow gold signet ring.
Mar 07, 1:00 PM CET
Alton 18K yellow gold signet ring.
by Goudwisselkantoor Veilingen
Est: €100- €220
€800 Bids
A 9ct gold bark effect textured band signet ring, stamped 9ct, size V, 7.7g
Feb 28, 10:30 AM GMT
A 9ct gold bark effect textured band signet ring, stamped 9ct, size V, 7.7g
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £200- £250
£1000 Bids
A 9ct gold signet ring, rectangular plain top, size V, 11.9g; a 9ct gold m
Feb 28, 10:30 AM GMT
A 9ct gold signet ring, rectangular plain top, size V, 11.9g; a 9ct gold m
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £200- £250
£1000 Bids
A 9ct gold serpentine signet ring, size M, 6.6g gross
Feb 28, 10:30 AM GMT
A 9ct gold serpentine signet ring, size M, 6.6g gross
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £70- £100
£350 Bids
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(2) 14K RINGS, FRATERNAL & SIGNET
Mar 07, 5:00 PM EST
(2) 14K RINGS, FRATERNAL & SIGNET
by Leighton Galleries
Est: $400- $450
$2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Signet Rings


Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers

Intervendue

Intervendue

Cadmore Auctions

Cadmore Auctions

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd