Signets of the Times

November 10, 2022  |  Rachael Taylor
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The new generation of this traditional ring is playful, quirky and deeply personal.

Signet rings started out as the most formal piece of jewelry imaginable, impressed on wax seals as a stamp of authority or carved with imposing crests to signal heraldry and class. Today’s variations are much more frivolous — but just as personal.

“Gone are the days of tradition…however, what we are left with is a ring steeped in symbolism and a way to represent our loved ones,” says Cece Fein Hughes of Cece Jewellery. “The large blank canvas of a signet ring offers up so much space for storytelling, which I believe the world is craving during these uncertain times.”

Fein Hughes takes the canvas description literally, using enamels to paint tiny, whimsical scenes — often highly personal to her clients — onto her gold signets.

Katherine Jetter’s new collection, Lady of the Rings, swaps ancestry for friendship. The seven gold rings have etched designs within a frame of baguette diamonds to symbolize the different personalities among groups of women, such as the seductive-but-deadly siren and the straight-shooting archer.

Other quirky designs include Roxanne First’s smiley signet, which can be flipped to communicate a happy or sad mood, and Alison Lou’s CeLoubration pinky rings with tongue-in-cheek pictograms symbolizing love. Whether they’re wild or simply sport a splash of color or an ostentatious flash of diamond pavé, modern genderless signet rings are jubilant pledges of allegiance to ourselves.

L’Atelier Nawbar
Fragment ring in 18-karat gold, diamond and enamel.
Alison Lou
Away You Go signet in 14-karat gold with enamel and diamonds.
Katherine Jetter
Siren of the Sea ring in 18-karat gold and diamonds, from the Lady of the Rings line.
Bowen NYC
Signet ring in 18-karat gold with Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons.
Cece Jewellery
Sailor’s Superstition ring in 18-karat gold with enamel and diamonds.
La Luna signet in 18-karat gold with diamonds, mother-of-pearl and sapphires.
Roxanne First
Happy or Sad flip ring in 18-karat gold with diamonds and sapphires.

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