Dear ladies and gentlemen of 2020, this year is the come back of an ancient tradition becoming trendy again: the signet ring. What is it? This ring people may wear, especially aristocrats, with the symbol of their family. But in 2020 it’s much more than that. Discover with me!

After being old-fashioned for decades, the signet ring comes back. Young or no longer so, men and women, major brands or creator’s one: everyone may wear one, regardless of the family background.

Signet ring Dior
Signet ring Versace
Signet ring Fendi

Signet ring Givenchy

Signet ring Tiffany’s

Why? The signet ring is actually linked to values that are strong nowadays: showing we belong to a group, showing strongly how we are.

Signet rings are as old as jewelry, at a time when people were not all able to write, it was a way for administrations to approve documents: they simply needed to paste their ring on the wax.

In China, the ancient well-known families generally used special badges, jade pendants or tongs as a symbol of family heritage.

What are the rules for wearing it among nobility?

They strongly change according to time, place, and gender. Let’s have a little check.

In France, a man should wear it on the left hand, at the ring finger (with the wedding ring) if he’s the oldest son.

While in England it would be at the little finger. No matter the country it symbolizes the family heritage he will carry on.

What about ladies?

They will wear it on the little finger of the right hand (or left). They may also wear the symbol of their husband’s family.

Pippa Middleton, the sister of Kate Middleton
wear it on the little finger of the right hand (or left).

Traditionally, only nobility may wear a crown or a helm on it. Family without a noble title should avoid it.

This one has a crown.
This one doesn’t have a crown.

Which sense? You may wear it “enbaise-main” if you are single, with the symbol towards the outside, or “enbagarre” if you are married, with the symbol towards yourself.

“enbaise-main”,the person is single.

“enbagarre”, the person is not single.

A signet ring is traditionally offered by the father to his children when they reach the age of 18, meaning they shall start to accomplish great achievements in order to honour the family legacy they are wearing on the ring.

Family wearing the same ring

What forms?

A man would rather have a square shape, while a lady would rather wear a round or ovale shape. But here the rule is not strict, you may change as you wish.

You don’t have a family symbol, but you want to create one, how to do?

In France, a saying from the 12th century was “who’s not having symbol wear a lion”. Look at how many noble family/kingdoms have lions on their symbols:

Churchil family, dukes of Marlborough, England

Kingdom of Netherlands
Duchy of Normandy, France

 Earl of Gascogne, France
Symbol overview of the Nobles

For someone willing to create a family symbol today, I would recommend you to connect to your family origin territory: is there an animal, a plant, a landscape specific? Do you have a favorite colour? A favorite shape? Values? From these elements, you try to create a symbol you like.

What is the « stacking » trend?

Signet rings are coming back in fashion together with a general trend about the “stacking”: 

It’s now fashionable to accumulate several visible jewelries on your fingers:

It’s all about creativity, being trendy but not crazy. Balance is the name of the game. 

Here are a few rules:

1. There should be a harmony. Keep different gold ring (white gold, yellow gold, pink gold) of different size, or different diamonds, but avoid mixing it with plastic rings for instance.

2. The largest rings are rather at the lowest part of the finger, especially signet ring, have more space/dainty rings when going up.

3. For your signet ring, let it shine by itself. Don’t stack another extravagant ring nearby, rather pick dainty ones.

4.Better keep at least one finger free of rings.

5. Play with different sizes, don’t be symmetric, that will be more aesthetic.

6. Have a maximum of 2-3 colours in total on your hands.

Have a maximum of 2-3 colours in total on your hands.

How to pick your signet ring?

Here we have to follow your finger shapes:

1. If you have large hands, you need to have larger ringer, with a thick “plateau”.

2.Small hands go with thinner ring, and thin plateau.

3.Long hands rather have long rings, short one small one.

4. The symbol should be carved, so you can paste your symbol on any soft material.

And do you have a family symbol? Share it with us!