Engraving Your Signet Ring
Engraving a Signet Ring. Get creative! Don’t go ordinary. That’s this engraving jeweler’s advice to those of you engraving a signet ring.
If you want to engrave the preamble to the Constitution, your options are limited.
If you’re engraving one to three letters, however, you have plenty of room for your imagination to run wild.
With the Right Choice Your Signet Ring Could Really Sing
In this post I’m suggesting that you let art into your heart where this special engraving is concerned. If you do, you’ll most likely need a hand engraver to do a more unusual or intricate engraving creation.
I’ll give you examples to inspire you. To learn more about your engraving technique choices please check out my blog post: Engraved Rings, Five Things You Need to Know
Three Style Choices for Your Signet Ring Engraving
1. Standard Fonts by Sex
2. Fancy, Unique Fonts
3. Illustrated Letters
More Details on the Three Categories of Signet Ring Font Choices
Standard Fonts by Sex
The standard fonts by sex are block style for men and script style for women. Just to shake it up, women often use the block style if they have a longer message as it’s easier to read.
Then men often opt for the script style as it looks like the style their Grandfather used and gives it an old world look.
This would be a font that is out of the ordinary with extra flourishes or defining look.
It would also be a font that your machine engraver would not have the pattern for so you’d need to use hand engraving or laser engraving to have it done.
Illustrated letters especially lend themselves to single letters. I was personally inspired by the big colorful letters at the beginning of chapters in old children’s books.
The details in some of the letters were true works of art. Similar styles can be found in bibles and other older books. See picture at the top.
A Few Points to Consider When You Choose to Engrave Your Signet Ring
Year ago while traveling in South America, I learned the Indians always weaved one slightly different thread into their work. Why? Because only the gods are perfect, they reasoned.
Just as a painting is not “perfect,” nor is hand engraving. Both are done by human hand and subject to the whim and creative talent of the artist. Only the gods are perfect.
If you’re looking for precision, use machine engraving. You won’t have as many fonts from which to choose and the depth of the engraving may not be as deep as you’d like, but the letters will look pretty perfect. God-like?
Talk to Your Jeweler and Engraver
Discuss the letter or letters you want engraved with your jeweler and/or engraver. Will there be enough room to fit everything on the face of the ring?
Are your letters appropriate for the particular font you’ve chosen? Will they look good? Will they be readable? Or a just mad jumble of curvy lines? (Which is cool if that’s the look you’re rocking.)
The letter “S” looks gorgeous in many different fonts. So does the letter “A.” Other letters—the letter “I” and “J” come to mind—are more challenging and can end up looking like something they’re not. (A frilly insect?)
If readability is more important than style, you might consider going with a simple “block” style font such as Times New Roman.
Whatever you decide, make sure you print out the exact letter or letters you want engraved in the font you want. Or draw it. I find verbal descriptions of the look you want and hand gestures get you someone else’s vision, not your own.
Rock the Look You Love
If you wear tats, why not pick a cool font similar to your tats. If you love vintage clothing go with a vintage font to express your personality. Be you and take the time to select a lettering style that will make your signet ring a symbol of who you are.
What is Your Font Personality?
You could take this “What Font Are You?” test on Buzzfeed.
If you’re reading this, you’re obviously computer literate. Fonts abound not only on your word processor but all over the internet. Search for “engraving styles” and “fonts.” You’ll find thousands! Copy your favorite four or five. Does one of them seem to express your personality more than the others? If not…keep looking.
Here are a couple of links to get you going:
More Posts in the Engraving Series:
Restorative Engraving For Older Rings
Engraved Rings – Five Things You Need to Know
Pinterest Page with Engraving Pictures
Signet Ring, What Should You Engrave? Vanilla or Chocolate?
Why You Should Engrave Your Wedding Rings: And What to Engrave
Engraving a Kiss Inside a Wedding Ring! Laser Engraving is Awesome!
If you’re going to wear your jewelry around for all to see, why not be creative and make it just how you want it? Great out-of-the-box ideas and thinking as always, Calla Gold! Makes me want to get a signet ring so you can come up with some awesome font to hand engrave on it!
I know how you feel. Writing this was inspired by a very fun project where I ground down old faded engraving on an inherited signet ring that’d been sitting around. Then I was given free rein to engrave a monogram. It came out so great. So I had to write this post!
Calla, your article made me think about what font I would be. Wouldn’t you know it, I Googled just that question, took a quiz and got my answer:
You are Helvetica
You fit in well to most situations. You’re not flashy, and prefer clarity to knocking people over with your style. A tad quiet perhaps, but not stuffy, and you’ve got very strong opinions under there somewhere. When you get drunk, you start looking more like Impact.
Ha, do you agree???
Here’s the link: Courtesy of http://www.buzzfeed.com/scott/what-font-are-you
Wow Lisa, What a fun thing to do. I think I’ll go add that to my blog post. The what font are you test seems to have pretty much nailed that fact that you don’t do tacky flashy and you’re not loud. It needed to say you are trustworthy and love to help others and you are magnetic in personality. I think it missed that you are naturally vivacious, as opposed to quiet. Since we haven’t gone drinking I’ll just take it on faith that Impact wears you well at the bar! I really appreciate this great playful comment Lisa.… Read more »
My problem with centering my last initial (“A”) on a signet ring is that it would spell “JAP” which is obviously problematic. I’m male. Would it be odd to use my maternal grandfather’s monogram with last initial centered: WSF? Any suggestions?
Having a problematic monogram initial is not a unique situation. For that reason a number of people have used maiden/family name initials or in the case of an inherited ring, updating the engraving on the intials there.