How Much Does A Signet Ring Cost?
A signet rings tells a story about the wearer. It is an expression of the self: a personal work of art. And like other works of art, signet rings come in a range of styles, sizes and prices. Just as paintings can be oil on canvas, print on cardboard or a photocopy on paper, there are different ways to create signet rings, with varying results.
Have you wondered why some signet rings cost more than others? A signet ring's value is not just related to the price. Such personal jewellery usually has an emotional connection to a person, place or time. This article also looks at the factors that influence signet ring prices.
Sterling Silver or Solid Gold - Which Metal Is Best for a Signet Ring?
The most popular metal options for signet rings in Australia are sterling silver and 9ct yellow, rose or white gold. Both sterling silver and solid gold are suitable for signet rings as they can also be engraved or set with stones, but gold and silver have different properties to suit different needs and there is a very big difference in price between sterling silver and solid 9ct or 18ct due to the value of the metal. Heirloom and lifetime signet rings are usually made with solid gold, however when treated properly, a strong, well-made sterling silver ring is also a beautiful keep-forever keepsake.
These days there are also a lot of plated and costume jewellery signet rings on the market which cost less as they are designed as a short-term fashion item. Oh My Giddy Aunt values keepsakes to keep and our custom-made signet rings are made to order in Australia in just about any precious metal you have your heart set on.
Signet Ring Styles & Sizes
A big, heavy signet ring in a large size requires a lot of precious metal to make and this will influence the cost. You can get an idea of the size of the ring from the measurements of the ring’s face or top however bigger is not always better. A large ring may require less precious metal to make if it is thin or hollow. A smaller ring with a thicker band and face may require more silver or gold to create and may end up costing more than a ‘bigger’ ring. When it comes to precious metal it is usually worth comparing weights rather than sizes and your giddy aunts are happy to provide you with weights for our solid gold signets.
In signet ring terminology "hollow” refers to the hollowing out of the back of a ring. This may be done to stop the ring from being too top heavy and to make the ring more affordable, especially if the style has a higher crown. If you look at the back of the ring you will be able to see if it is solid or hollow and as long as the ring is well made it should still be sturdy. The band of the ring should be solid.
Crafting and Manufacturing Quality
Oh My Giddy Aunt’s made to order signet rings are cast in Australia in the metal required and then beautifully and painstakingly polished and finished by hand. Plain, flat rings are easier to polish and finish and less time means less cost. A fancy ring with flourishes or crevices takes more work, time and expertise to ensure you have a beautiful ring. Handcrafting rings this way may add to the cost of the ring but it ensures you have a ring you can be proud of.
Oh My Giddy Aunt Australian made signet rings are individually custom-made especially for you in the metal and size required and because of this individual care and attention they are worth more than readymade signet rings made overseas in batches of set sizes, metals and stone options.
Engraving Styles for Signets
Signet rings with flat tops are designed so they can be personalised with engraved initials, crests, monograms, seals, cyphers or logos if desired. They can also be worn perfectly plain for those who prefer uncomplicated elegance.
Traditionally signet rings are hand engraved by heraldic or master engravers who chisel designs into the metal with intricate, hand-held tools. A signet ring engraved this way is a true work of art and a good heraldic engraver is a rare find! Every millimetre matter with signet ring engraving and years of training and experience goes into creating everything from a simple, single letter to a complicated family crest.
Many mass-produced signet rings these days are laser engraved, as laser engraving is super-fast and super precise. While laser engraving may be perfect it can lack the warmth and human touch of something beautifully crafted by hand. Laser engraving is a lot lighter than engraving that is carved deeply into the metal to ensure the design remains for generations to come.
The amount of time, effort and experience that goes into creating a beautifully engraved signet is also reflected in the price. First signet rings for children are often hand-engraved with a small initial or two, but if you are investing in a substantial flat-face signet of value it is worth the extra time and cost to have the keepsake master engraved.
Birthstones and Precious Stones in Signet Rings
Signet rings are often set with natural diamonds or birthstones to personalise the keepsake. The birthstones in small heart-shaped signets are often tiny little stones and don’t add too much cost, however larger stones, natural stones and natural diamonds will make a difference to the price of the signet and often add a distinctive chapter to the story told by the ring.
How Much Should You Spend on a Signet Ring
It really depends on how long you want it to last, how much engraving you would like on it, how often it is going to be worn and your personal preference. Some people prefer the look of sterling silver and others like gold. Some people prefer to wear big, heavy pieces of jewellery and others prefer finer, delicate rings. Thicker, heavier rings will last longer than thinner, finer rings in all metals just depending on how much wear and tear the ring experiences. Rings that are taken off before exercising, swimming or working will last longer than a ring that is worn all the time. A ring that is worn on a pinkie finger will not be subjected to as much wear and tear as a ring that is worn on a finger on the dominant hand. Larger size rings need thicker, sturdier bands for stability.
A child’s first signet can be a smaller, finer ring and doesn’t need to be too expensive, unless you are thinking of investing in a larger, heavier signet that can be worn throughout life. It may also be worth investing a little more in a crest ring for this generation and for generations to come – especially as the skills of heraldic and master engravers become increasingly difficult to find.
Whether you are looking for heirloom signet rings, a child’s first signet ring, a signet to go through life or a good value ring in sizes to suit everyone in the family, your Giddy Aunts will be very happy to help you decide on just the right ring, made and hand-engraved in Australia, especially for you.
17 October 2017
15 February 2021