Signet rings continue to gain in popularity and we are seeing an ever-increasing demand for them. Whilst the traditional family crest is still the predominant choice for seal engraving, what do you do if you either don’t have a crest, don’t like your crest or simply want something more contemporary and unique to you personally?

If you’re not sure what your family crest looks like, or indeed whether you have one, you can use our online crest finder here to search your surname and see. If you don’t have one and you want one, it is possible to apply to the College of Arms for the creation of a new crest which will be officially registered and you’ll be able to pass it on to future generations. Otherwise, within the confines of the size and shape of the ring head you choose (read more about how to decide on that here) there really is no limit to the design you can have on your ring.

Even without a crest there is no reason that your engraving can’t represent your family ties should you wish. A beautifully designed monogram composed of either your full initials or perhaps those of the Christian names of your immediate family can look very striking. For any lettering on your ring, it is worth taking a moment to think about fonts. All fonts have their own personality and differing levels of legibility.

Stylised block capitals shaped to fit the ring head such as these are instantly readable:

Whereas ornate script style letters which intertwine or overlap as these do are less so.

You’ll also need to think about fonts if you plan to engrave wording on your ring. Maybe there is a motto that holds resonance for you from school or university or a group or club you belong to. Even a short phrase or saying you find inspiring would make for an original ring design, and don’t forget you can choose any language you like.

Symbols are another good choice for personalising rings, perhaps there is a particular image relating to your profession that you like such as the Rod of Asclepius or the Caduceus for those working in medicine. Alternatively, you might choose to have a symbol representing your religion or element of spirituality whether that be a Crucifix, Star of David or perhaps the Dharma Wheel.

An image of a scorpion, crab or lion could represent your Zodiac birth sign in a literal sense or you could allude to it more subtly with something like a wave for example if you were Aquarius. The astrological symbol could also be used either alone or worked into a more detailed design. If you like your Chinese zodiac animal you could use that or maybe you could design something utilising both? Taking inspiration from some of the very earliest signet rings on display in the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, a series of symbols could be used in combination just as hieroglyphics once were.

As you can see, there are many options for personalising a signet ring and enabling it to reflect your particular history, personality and style. From metal choice, size and shape through to engraving, all these elements will combine to create a ring unique to you that you will be able to treasure and enjoy for years to come.