Signet Ring, What Should You Engrave? Vanilla or Chocolate?

Vanilla or chocolate engraving? Seriously, Rashida asked me on the phone if I do "vanilla or chocolate engraving."

I said, "I do both and banana split engraving." (She had called me after finding me on the internet and she sounded fun.)

"OK," she said, "I was messin' with you, but now you're messin' with me." She said with a smile in her voice.

"Guilty as charged. What are you looking for?" I said.

Sterling Silver Custom Necklace

Mirror Finish and a Laser Engraved Image

There we got into a conversation about the fact that she wanted to do something different.

"Everyone does letters, but my neice's real name is Irvina. And all the 'I's' look lame. So I don't want an 'I'. She just flat out won't wear it. She goes by Vina, but her folks hate that. So doing a "V" is out of the question." She said.

"What if we do a symbol or animal or something? It worked for Prince." I said.

"Vina does love hummingbirds." She said.

In that moment we found Vina's signet ring decoration.

What Will I Cover in This Signet Ring Engraving Post?

In this post I'll show examples of different lettering types on many different signet rings and hope to inspire you to spend a bit of time and pick a font that you really like. That will make your signet ring or the signet ring gift more special.

A Bit About Engraving - There are Three Types

B is Engraved by Hand Engraving. Lines go Narrow to Wide.

B is Engraved by Hand Engraving. Lines go Narrow to Wide.

I drill deeply into the three types on my blog post: Engraved Rings, Five Things You Need to Know

Briefly there are machine engraving, hand engraving and laser engraving. Each one is covered in the above post. I'll label the pictures in this post by what method was used to help you know how that effect was achieved.

The Steps to Choosing How to Engrave Your Signet Ring

Ring engraving, script font

Script Font for Engraving

  1. Pick the font or image you love the most (Google fonts)
  2. See what style of engraving you'll need (Look at these pictures for examples)
  3. Pick a jeweler that offers your chosen style of engraving
  4. Take it  in to the jeweler and get it done

Tattoos and Your Ring Design

Hand Engraved Hummingbird on Art Nouveau inspired Signet Ring.

    Hand Engraved Hummingbird on Art Nouveau inspired Signet Ring.

You can be like Rashida and engrave a hummingbird or a favorite symbol on your signet ring.

One way to search for  symbols is to do a Google Image search for simple tattoo ideas or wood cuts in the area of your interest.

Keep in mind that too much detail is the enemy of engraving. You want the image to communicate and too much complexity can make it look like a mysterious blob.

If it is simple enough to tattoo or do a wood cut it'll probably be simple enough to show up well on a signet ring. Considering how complex tattoo are is these days I should say only look at simple tattoos as examples of what you want.

Monograms Are Cool

Monogram engraved on a man's signet ring

Note How Deeply the Lettering is Etched into the Surface of This Signet Ring. That's Hand Engraving.

Generally speaking when you have a monogram engraved the last name letter is in the center. The first initial is to the left and the middle initial is to the right. When engraving monograms the choice of font makes a huge difference in how it looks. Fonts have personalities all their own.

Signet Ring with Script Monogram

This Signet Ring is Engraved by a Hand Engraver. Notice the Varying Width of Each Letter.

Have fun Finding Your Font Personality. Note that scripty fancy fonts tend to give an old vintage look and can be used by men and women.

Examples of Machine Engraving

signet ring machine engraved with a C

This is a Vanilla Engraving. Simple Machine Engraving of One Letter.

With machine engraving you need to choose a font that they have the template (pattern) made up for. Because machine engraving has certain fixed font patterns available and is not hand done, it is less expensive than hand engraving.

Machine engraving tends to be less deep and has one even width as opposed to narrower to wider in the same letter that you can get with hand engraving.

Example  of Laser Engraving

Laser engraving of initials on a wedding band ring

Laser Engraving of Initials. The Black is From the Burning of the Laser and is not Permanent

Laser engraving is highly precise as it is controlled by a computer. A computer operator programs in the font you want and the size and programs where the engraving is to take place.

Lip laser engraved inside the wedding ring

Jordana's Kiss Inside His Wedding Band

One of the variables is the dwell time of the laser beams. The deeper you want the engraving, the more dwell time is needed. It is this controlled dwell time that makes laser engraving the only engraving option for titanium and tungsten and super tough metals.

Laser engraving is also really good for engraving complex images. Like fingerprints or kisses.

Vanilla or Chocolate, How Wild do You Want to Go?

Now you know the techniques, time to search for what you really want your engraving to look like.

May your signet ring look perfect for you,
Calla Gold

More Posts in the Engraving Series:

Milgrain Engraving Explained

Restorative Engraving For Older Rings

Engraved Rings – Five Things You Need to Know

Engraving Your Signet Ring

Pinterest Page with Engraving Pictures

Signet Ring, What Should You Engrave? Vanilla or Chocolate?

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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9 years ago

Love the tattoo rule! Clever, and a good visual.

Sue M.
Sue M.
9 years ago

Rashida does sound fun. I’m glad that you shared so many pictures of the different types of engraving available.
I was especially interested to see the laser engraving and the flexibility that it offered.
I have a friend who has a fingerprint inside her wedding band.
Did she use laser engraving for that? And how do they get their fingerprint to the engraving anyway?