Signets of the times

November 10, 2022  |  Rachael Taylor
Ad Ornem
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.
lateliernawbar.com
Alison Lou
Away You Go signet in 14-karat gold with enamel and diamonds.
alisonlou.com
Katherine Jetter
Siren of the Sea ring in 18-karat gold and diamonds, from the Lady of the Rings line.
katherinejetter.com
Bowen NYC
Signet ring in 18-karat gold with Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons.
bowennyc.com
Cece Jewellery
Sailor’s Superstition ring in 18-karat gold with enamel and diamonds.
cecejewellery.com
Sorellina
La Luna signet in 18-karat gold with diamonds, mother-of-pearl and sapphires.
sorellinanyc.com
Roxanne First
Happy or Sad flip ring in 18-karat gold with diamonds and sapphires.
roxannefirst.com

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