Loading Spinner

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

See all items

Ladies University of Virginia 14-Karat Yellow-Gold Signet Ring 2.6 dwt; Size: 6 1/4
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
Ladies University of Virginia 14-Karat Yellow-Gold Signet Ring 2.6 dwt; Size: 6 1/4
by Weschler's
Est: $80- $125
$909 Bids
bp parity badge
10K YELLOW GOLD BLACK ONYX SIGNET RING
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
10K YELLOW GOLD BLACK ONYX SIGNET RING
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$406 Bids
Gucci: A signet ring
Dec 07, 10:00 AM GMT
Gucci: A signet ring
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £400- £600
£3005 Bids
bp parity badge
14K YELLOW GOLD TIGERS EYE SIGNET RING
Dec 18, 9:00 AM MST
14K YELLOW GOLD TIGERS EYE SIGNET RING
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$254 Bids
A men's 18kt yellow gold signet ring,
Dec 07, 9:00 AM PST
A men's 18kt yellow gold signet ring,
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $350- $550
$2401 Bid
Antique 18K. yellow gold British signet ring set with an orange sardonyx.
Dec 09, 11:00 AM CET
Antique 18K. yellow gold British signet ring set with an orange sardonyx.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €400- €500
€3001 Bid
14 KARAT YELLOW GOLD & GLASS SIGNET RING
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
14 KARAT YELLOW GOLD & GLASS SIGNET RING
by Abell Auction
Est: $700- $1,000
$5001 Bid
14 KARAT YELLOW GOLD & SARD INTAGLIO SIGNET RING
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
14 KARAT YELLOW GOLD & SARD INTAGLIO SIGNET RING
by Abell Auction
Est: $400- $600
$3001 Bid
bp parity badge
14K YG Family Crest Signet Ring, Size 9
Dec 11, 11:00 AM EST
14K YG Family Crest Signet Ring, Size 9
by Gallery 63
Est: $1,600- $2,800
$4001 Bid
Antique 10K. yellow gold signet ring with hand engraved initials and details.
Dec 09, 11:00 AM CET
Antique 10K. yellow gold signet ring with hand engraved initials and details.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €175- €200
€1700 Bids
Siegelring.
Dec 09, 10:00 AM CET
Siegelring.
by Dannenberg
Est: €100- €120
€1000 Bids
LARGE BAGUE CHEVALIERE
Dec 10, 2:30 PM CET
LARGE BAGUE CHEVALIERE
by Accademia Fine Art
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
Chevalière en or blanc 18 carats sertie d'une aigu…
Dec 14, 6:30 PM CET
Chevalière en or blanc 18 carats sertie d'une aigu…
by Vanderkindere
Est: €300- €500
€3000 Bids
Silver college type gentleman's signet ring, size X, 9.8g.
Dec 09, 10:00 AM GMT
Silver college type gentleman's signet ring, size X, 9.8g.
by Potteries Auctions
Est: £15- £30
£150 Bids
9ct gold signet ring and 9ct wedding ring, 5.7g. (2)
Dec 09, 10:00 AM GMT
9ct gold signet ring and 9ct wedding ring, 5.7g. (2)
by Potteries Auctions
Est: £60- £100
£600 Bids
Signet ring with layer stone
Dec 15, 11:00 AM CET
Signet ring with layer stone
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €220- €880
€2000 Bids
Signet ring with layer stone
Dec 15, 11:00 AM CET
Signet ring with layer stone
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €220- €880
€2000 Bids
8 kt gold signet ring
Dec 16, 12:00 PM CET
8 kt gold signet ring
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €180- €720
€1600 Bids
Signet ring
Dec 16, 12:00 PM CET
Signet ring
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €160- €640
€1600 Bids
Signet ring
Dec 16, 12:00 PM CET
Signet ring
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €160- €640
€1600 Bids
Sterling silver sandstone inlay signet style ring, size 12
Dec 06, 7:00 PM EST
Sterling silver sandstone inlay signet style ring, size 12
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $90- $135
$450 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Signet Rings


Henry's Auktionshaus

Henry's Auktionshaus

Tajan

Tajan

Potteries Auctions

Potteries Auctions

Davidson Auctions

Davidson Auctions