Signet rings were originally worn as an official seal as far back as the time of ancient Egypt. Today, some European countries still use the signet ring for this purpose. In the world of fashion, a women's signet ring is a ring with a flat surface that is typically engraved with a personalised design significant to the owner. These personalised designs range from symbols to initials. Women's signet rings come in a variety of plain bands that are custom-engraved to a consumer's liking, or are available with designs that have been previously engraved.
The bands that hold these personal designs are typically plain in style but can also be ornate with Celtic or Egyptian influences. Some jewellers consider class rings as a type of signet ring. Women's signet rings range in size and complexity, so choosing one can be quite overwhelming without the right knowledge. Women's signet rings are available at jewellery stores, department stores, or online. There are a couple of things to consider before shopping for a women's signet ring including: differentiating between antique and modern signet rings, understanding the types of metals used, various signet shapes, and the types of engraving.
Antique vs. Modern Women's Signet Rings
The first thing for a consumer to consider, is whether they are a looking for a modern or antique signet ring. Antique signet rings come pre-engraved, and were once used for different purposes than today's modern signet rings.
Women's Antique Signet Rings
Women's antique signet rings hail from a time when the ring's main purpose was to act as an official seal. In the past, these rings were used by politicians, religious leaders, and wealthy citizens as an official signature. The signet ring was pressed into a document sealed with wax or wet clay. Antique women's signet rings are only available with official seals imprinted on them. Engravers of the past, created a coat of arms, initials, or signature, in a mirror image so that the seal would not contain a reverse image.
Women's Modern Signet Rings
A women's modern signet ring typically consists of a flat plane of any shape where the wearer's initials, or some personalised design are engraved. Modern signet rings are no longer engraved with the design or initials as a mirror image because these rings no longer function as official seals in the fashion world. Women's modern signet rings also often use engraved gems to make up a personalised signet ring design.
Types of Metals Used in Women's Signet Rings
Women's signet rings come in a variety of precious metals. These precious metals possess different chemical qualities and characteristics. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each of these metals as the base of a signet ring ranges in durability and appearance.
Gold occurs naturally in the earth in the form of gold nuggets, flakes in stream beds, and veins in the ground. Gold has considerable specific weight, high-temperature boiling and melting points, as well as a relatively low hardness. It is also one of the best conductors of electricity and heat.
Different Consistencies of Gold Signet Rings
Women's gold signet rings are available in yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. All of these types of gold give a different hue based on the percentage of other metal alloys present. As the names suggest, yellow gold is a yellow colour, white gold is a silver colour, and rose gold is a pink colour. Yellow gold and white gold are the most common types of gold and metal used for women's signet rings. The higher the karat of gold, the higher the purity of the gold.
Ensuring Gold Durability
Gold is a very durable so it is a good choice for a women's signet ring that is worn regularly. Further, consumers who have allergies should purchase a signet ring with a high gold content, such as 24 karats. The lower the purity, the higher the percentage of other metal alloys present such as nickel, which is often a skin irritant. On the downside, gold is one of the most expensive metals and the price increases as the gold content of the signet increases.
Sterling silver is 92.5 per cent pure silver, and 7.5 per cent other metal alloys. Sterling silver is by far the most common type of silver used for jewellery because it is much more durable compared to pure silver. Unlike gold, the amount or type of metal alloys added to pure silver to create sterling silver has very little effect on the price. The price of women's sterling silver signet rings increases as the amount of labour, skill, and design increase.
Ensuring Quality of Silver
Consumers looking to purchase a sterling silver signet ring should look for a fineness or quality mark, which designates the precious metal content of the jewellery. This helps buyers determine if they are looking at a quality women's sterling silver signet ring. Sterling silver is a great choice for women's signet rings because it is both beautiful, durable, and the most affordable. However, sterling silver tends to tarnish over time as it reacts with elements in the air, so it needs to be cleaned fairly regularly, particularly if not worn often.
Platinum is typically 95 per cent pure, making it one of the purest precious metals used in jewellery. Platinum is used in signet rings because it does not fade or discolour over time. The density of platinum also makes it extremely durable over time. Platinum is a good alternative to white gold because it has a similar appearance, but does not discolour.
Strength of Platinum
Platinum is a good choice for a women's signet ring, particularly for consumers interested in a signet ring with engraved gems, as opposed to classic engraving. The strength of platinum makes it a good candidate for securing loose gemstones. However, on the downside, the strength of platinum also makes it much harder to engrave, and platinum women's signet rings are not quite as affordable as palladium and sterling silver. Additionally, platinum's purity makes it a great choice for consumers with skin allergies or sensitive skin.
Palladium is the least popular precious metal used for women's signet rings. Palladium is usually found as the companion of zinc and copper. Palladium is both ductile and malleable and it has a shiny, silver, metallic appearance. Palladium is another metal that is a good substitute for white gold. Palladium is tarnish-resistant and also much more pure than gold and sterling silver, making it hypoallergenic. Palladium is also a good alternative to platinum because it has a similar appearance, but is much less expensive. However, because of the strength of palladium, it is often much harder to engrave, similar to platinum.
Women's Signet Ring Shapes
Once a consumer has chosen a type of metal, the next thing to consider is what surface shape the buyer desires. Women's signet rings come in a variety of shapes but the most popular are oval, square, circle, and heart. Sometimes the shape is incorporated into another design, such as the Irish claddagh. One important thing to keep in mind when choosing a modern women's signet ring, is what type of engraving the consumer is looking to get on the ring. A buyer should keep this in mind so that they choose a women's signet ring with enough surface area for the desired engraving.
Types of Engravings on Women's Signet Rings
What makes a signet ring different from other women's rings, is the inscription on the surface of the ring. Therefore, choosing the engraving is an important step in the buying process of a women's signet ring. Modern engravings usually include a symbol, such as a cross, a personalised design, or an individual's initials. Engravings are done either directly into the metal or with gemstones. For consumers who are interested in a women's signet ring, an antique women's signet ring is a unique and intricate option.
How to Buy a Women's Signet Ring on eBay
Women's signet rings are available in many different metals, shapes, and engravings. While there are a few things for you to consider before shopping for a women's signet ring, eBay is here to help narrow down the selection once you have made some decisions. If you are looking for a white gold women's signet ring, eBay has items that match this description. Simply type white gold women's signet ring into the keyword box within the eBay website portal and click search. A list of items matching this exact description is then be populated for you to view.
Because any type of jewellery is often an investment, eBay helps ensure that you are buying a quality piece from a reputable seller To help ease your mind, eBay provides a forum for buyers to give feedback to individual sellers. You can view each seller's feedback to help determine which sellers provide quality women's signet rings. This is just one way eBay helps make the women signet ring buying process quick, easy, and worry-free.
Although they are no longer used solely as official seals, women's signet rings continue to have their place in the jewellery market. Today, it is popular to purchase a women's signet ring with a personal engraving on the surface, such as a symbol or a wearer's initials. Consumers have a few things to consider before shopping for a women's signet ring. First and probably the biggest decision, is what type of precious metal a buyer is interested in for the women's signet ring. Once that is decided, a consumer must choose what surface shape they are interested in, as well as what engraving is desired. Women's signet rings are also popular items for those who collect or wear antique jewellery. Antique women's signet rings are uniquely designed with an official seal or signature used to stamp items. Whether it be antique or modern, a women's signet ring is a staple piece that has its place in every jewellery box.