The Signet Ring in History

The use of the “signet ring” dates back at least to the second half of the 13th century, when the signet ring was a “small seal used for formal or official purposes”, i.e. a substitute for a signature for them. official documents.

A time when few people knew how to write. But the history of the signet ring is very old. Men have worn this type of ring for thousands of years. Its first use, according to archaeologists, dates back to ancient Egypt, over 4,000 years ago. Many of these signet rings have been found in the tombs of the pharaohs and on the tombs of some high officials. It seems that these rings were used as meanings of authority and as seals to certify business transactions.

The Byzantine signet ring was mixed with pagan Roman symbols and with symbols of Christianity. At that time, signet rings first appeared on women, especially since they had become the recognizable symbol of household and family possessions. Eventually, the signet ring of the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. This turn of events in world history was the beginning of the Middle Ages. During this period, officials and commoners also wore signet rings.

The symbols imprinted on them helped the vast majority who could not read to recognize authority, as well as to recognize the authenticity and importance of a document. With the invention of sealing wax, signet rings were designed with embossed designs like cameos, and more with highly personalized and engraved designs. These carved stamps were used to imprint the design when pressed into hot wax. The rich often had their own emblem carved from a precious or semi-precious stone. Most signet rings were made of gold or silver, they were usually very heavy, made of simple and sturdy shapes so that they could be used regularly to seal documents.

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