Bespoke signet rings from Hatton Garden specialist Rebus
Work with Rebus to have the perfect reflection of your life and personality engraved into precious metal or stone
A few ideas of heraldry and symbolism to get you started…
There are very few pieces of jewellery every man can get away with; take away watches, cufflinks and a spouse and there’s really only one: the signet ring. Granted there’s something inherently old school about the signet (as there is with anything that’s been around for millennia) but that’s not such a bad thing; if you wear a Savile Row suit it’s the perfect golden foil.
Just thinking of a signet ring as jewellery though does it an injustice. Sure there might be the occasional guy that wears a wolf’s head for no reason other than he likes it, but that kind of defeats the point. To the trained eye a signet ring should say who you are, a bespoke reflection of your own life.
Of course a bespoke signet ring isn’t the sort of thing you can go into any jeweller for; most seem to have a hard time with something as simple as resizing. For Hatton Garden’s Rebus on the other hand fine engravings of mythological creatures, coats of arms and family motifs are second nature.
Nestled away just off London’s artisan jewellery haven, Rebus is both showroom and workshop, a self-contained entity producing some of the finest signet rings in the capital. Sure signets aren’t high jewellery, but if you’ve ever seen a fully-qualified engraver at work that’s not something you’re going to think about. Creating a lifelike rampant griffin across scant millimetres of metal is always impressive.
That said, Rebus are proficient in more than the standard blocks of yellow gold that are most common; for something a little more unusual, they can also engrave stone and set that into gold. It’s far more of a statement and provided it’s not too brittle the jeweller will use whatever kind of stone you want.
It means that, as well as having a personal motif on your signet you can have it on a stone that’s close to your heart, perhaps local to where you grew up or in the main colour of your family crest.
The options are in the most literal sense endless – which brings us to a slight predicament. With such a vast array of options available, where do you start? The guys at Rebus can help of course but it’s always better to have something in mind beforehand; you can always change it. So, here are a few ideas to get you thinking about your perfect signet ring.
The most obvious motif for a signet ring, most families have a crest if you look back far enough. At the very least your name will likely have some elements of heraldry attached to it that you can draw from to create your own.
Every animal and heraldic symbol has its own connotations, some obvious some less so and you can quite easily incorporate them into a design that reflects your own personality – or at least what you want it to be.
Many of us are rightly proud of our education and most schools – especially public schools – have their own crests and wearing a signet with that motif is kind of like being part of a members’ club. For some schools that’s genuinely the case.
Most lines of work have at least some associations in symbolism, whether it’s the quill for a writer, an instrument for a musician or something a little more abstract.
What do you enjoy? Who do you enjoy it with? Where? These are all questions the answers to which can be engraved into your own, decidedly non-traditional signet ring.
A bit more unusual, a momento mori translates literally as ‘remember you must die.’ It’s one of the oldest motifs but is still relatively popular if you don’t mind a little bit of morbidity.
By combining these various elements you can come up with a design that reflects every aspect of your life, your history and your heritage and, whether it’s in simple yellow gold or engraved into semi-precious stone, that’s the definition of bespoke. Or you know; you could just go buy a wolf’s head. I wouldn’t, but you could.
Words by: Sam Kessler