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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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18k Yellow Gold Heavy Signet Size 8 Ring 31 Grams
May 28, 1:00 PM EDT
18k Yellow Gold Heavy Signet Size 8 Ring 31 Grams
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$3754 Bids
18k Yellow Gold Heavy Signet Size 8 Ring 67 Grams
May 28, 1:00 PM EDT
18k Yellow Gold Heavy Signet Size 8 Ring 67 Grams
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$1253 Bids
14K Yellow Gold Carnelian Intaglio Signet Ring
Jun 09, 12:00 PM EDT
14K Yellow Gold Carnelian Intaglio Signet Ring
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$3251 Bid
A 9ct GOLD HEART SIGNET RING; Rodd. Weight 1.84g. Size J.
May 27, 10:00 AM AEST
A 9ct GOLD HEART SIGNET RING; Rodd. Weight 1.84g. Size J.
by Raffan Kelaher & Thomas
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD301 Bid
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9ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring
Jun 15, 10:00 AM AEST
9ct Yellow Gold Signet Ring
by Roxbury's Auction House
Est: AUD300- AUD400
AUD51 Bid
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Diamond & Onyx Signet Ring 9ct
Jun 15, 10:00 AM AEST
Diamond & Onyx Signet Ring 9ct
by Roxbury's Auction House
Est: AUD250- AUD350
AUD51 Bid
14kt yellow gold signet ring set with obsidian. Timeless model, nice for everyday wear. The signet
Jun 05, 7:00 PM CEST
14kt yellow gold signet ring set with obsidian. Timeless model, nice for everyday wear. The signet
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €100- €150
€1000 Bids
English 9K Yellow Gold Diamond Signet Ring
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
English 9K Yellow Gold Diamond Signet Ring
by Intervendue
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
14kt yellow gold signet ring set with onyx. The ring is set with an octagonal cut onyx containing t
Jun 05, 7:00 PM CEST
14kt yellow gold signet ring set with onyx. The ring is set with an octagonal cut onyx containing t
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
14kt/9kt yellow gold American signet ring with coin. The coin depicts John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The
Jun 05, 7:00 PM CEST
14kt/9kt yellow gold American signet ring with coin. The coin depicts John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €150- €200
€1500 Bids
14kt bicolor gold signet ring set with onyx. Ring size: 20.75 mm / 65 Weight of ring: 4 grams Inspe
Jun 05, 7:00 PM CEST
14kt bicolor gold signet ring set with onyx. Ring size: 20.75 mm / 65 Weight of ring: 4 grams Inspe
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
14K Gold Celestial Pave Signet Ring - Size 7
Jun 12, 7:00 PM EDT
14K Gold Celestial Pave Signet Ring - Size 7
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $950- $1,200
$6500 Bids
Regal Square 14K Solid Gold Signet Ring - Size 5
Jun 12, 7:00 PM EDT
Regal Square 14K Solid Gold Signet Ring - Size 5
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $750- $1,000
$5250 Bids
Pavé Diamond Slim Signet Ring - 14k Yellow Gold & Diamond
Jun 12, 7:00 PM EDT
Pavé Diamond Slim Signet Ring - 14k Yellow Gold & Diamond
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $800- $1,000
$5500 Bids
Pavé Diamond Slim Signet Ring - 14k White Gold & Diamond
Jun 12, 7:00 PM EDT
Pavé Diamond Slim Signet Ring - 14k White Gold & Diamond
by Weatherham Estate Treasures
Est: $800- $1,000
$5500 Bids
Victorian Bloodstone Intaglio Signet Ring
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
Victorian Bloodstone Intaglio Signet Ring
by Intervendue
Est: $2,900- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
14kt yellow gold American signet ring with coin. The coin depicts John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 1961-19
Jun 05, 7:00 PM CEST
14kt yellow gold American signet ring with coin. The coin depicts John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 1961-19
by Medusa Auctioneers
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids
18k Rampant Lion Intaglio Signet Ring
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
18k Rampant Lion Intaglio Signet Ring
by Intervendue
Est: $2,500- $3,000
$4500 Bids
POL BURY (1922 HAINE-SAINT-PIERRE - 2005 PARIS), KINETIC RING, 2005
Jun 12, 7:00 PM CEST
POL BURY (1922 HAINE-SAINT-PIERRE - 2005 PARIS), KINETIC RING, 2005
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €10,000- €11,000
€9,0000 Bids
FABRICE SCHAEFER (1969 GENEVA - LIVES IN GENEVA), RING 'CLOU', 2007
Jun 12, 7:00 PM CEST
FABRICE SCHAEFER (1969 GENEVA - LIVES IN GENEVA), RING 'CLOU', 2007
by Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
Est: €1,000- €1,400
€9000 Bids
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Mother Of Pearl Signet Ring 9ct
Jun 15, 10:00 AM AEST
Mother Of Pearl Signet Ring 9ct
by Roxbury's Auction House
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD50 Bids
Antique Titus Caesar Carnelian Intaglio Signet Ring
May 29, 11:00 AM EDT
Antique Titus Caesar Carnelian Intaglio Signet Ring
by Intervendue
Est: $10,100- $15,000
$3,4000 Bids
An 18ct gold signet ring
Jun 05, 10:00 AM BST
An 18ct gold signet ring
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £300- £500
£1500 Bids
American, Circa 1960, A white gold and lapis lazuli signet ring and dress ring
Jun 12, 10:00 AM BST
American, Circa 1960, A white gold and lapis lazuli signet ring and dress ring
by Sloane Street Auctions
Est: £400- £600
£2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Signet Rings


Intervendue

Intervendue

Medusa Auctioneers

Medusa Auctioneers

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Pfeffer's Auctions

Pfeffer's Auctions