A signet ring is a type of ring that’s usually adorned with either the wearer’s initials, a monogram, or a special seal. Today, we’re going to give you some easy guidance on how to wear a signet ring!
In ancient Egypt, signet rings were used by queens and pharaohs to sign important documents before distinct personal signatures were a thing.
As a result, they were kept under lock and key at all times, and had to be destroyed once the wearer passed away.
Since this ring style dates back to ancient times, you might be wondering…
Which finger does the signet ring go on, historically?
Historically, the index finger or the pinky finger were the most common places for a signet ring.
However, the wearing of a signet ring has different meanings depending on which finger you put it on. It could either represent a social code or even signify your social standing.
Generally, here is what each finger symbolizes:
- The thumb finger signifies a great sense of sensuality
- The forefinger represents agility
- The middle finger represents confidence in one’s appearance, but can also be a sign of good temperament
- The ring finger is generally reserved for wedding rings
However, nowadays, signet rings are a status symbol that can take on many different meanings.
They’re also a great way to commemorate family history and momentous events, while creating an heirloom that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Signets also make for fantastic gifts for special occasions such as weddings, graduations, or even an important birthday.
What is the meaning of signet ring shapes?
The shape of a signet ring is more rooted in style preferences, while the stone and symbol on the ring itself is chosen for meaning. The emblem on the ring could be a family crest or an alma mater.
Meanwhile a chosen gem could be one’s birthstone or based in symbolism. For example, according to crystal mythology, diamonds represent strength, while emeralds represent new beginnings.
When it comes to shapes and styles, the straight oval is a classic signet shape that’s typically worn on the pinky finger. The domed oval signet ring is chunkier and heavier than the straight oval and can be worn either on the pinky ring or ring finger.
The round-shaped signet ring is softer looking, and often worn on the index finger, while the octagon signet shape is unconventional, fun, and expressive.
Lastly, the oxford signet ring shape offers a square frame with rounded endings that’s more understated.
How To Wear A Signet Ring
The signet ring is typically worn on your non-dominant hand. Nowadays, most men prefer to either wear it on their left or right pinky. However, you don’t need to limit yourself if you have a specific preference (or understand the meaning behind each finger).
A Signet Ring On The Index Finger
Historically, this is where a signet ring was placed, whether it’s a class ring or a family crest ring. Both the round-shaped signet ring and the straight oval signet shape can work here.
Remember that wearing a ring on your index finger is also a strong statement. If you prefer subtlety, or if the ring isn’t important enough, you might want to choose a different finger (what “important” means is completely subjective and personal!)
Signet Ring on the Fourth (Ring) Finger
Next, we have the fourth finger, or what’s traditionally known as the ring finger. This one is usually reserved for engagement rings and wedding bands. Conventionally, you’d keep your wedding ring finger free of any decorative jewelry because of this.
These days however, some people do choose to stack their wedding band with an important signet ring. Again, this isn’t traditional, but can be done!
As an example, perhaps a couple met in college and want to signify that by stacking a class ring (often signet ring shaped) on top of the band.
Or maybe the couple combined their family crests and created a new ring emblem. Since a ring and the finger you wear them on all symbolize something, wearing this new crest on a signet ring on your ring finger can hold a lot of significance.
As an aside (and to contrast with the example above), maybe you’re just a regular dude who found a cool signet ring at a store.
It happens to fit on your ring finger and you like the look. There’s absolutely no meaning behind it, other than the fact that you just… like it.
That’s cool too!
Not everything has to have some deep meaning, sometimes we just like how things look and want to wear it.
Wearing a Signet Ring on the Middle Finger, Pinky, or Thumb
If you wear a signet ring on your middle finger, you’re definitely packing a visual punch. This finger is typically associated with strength, responsibility, and balance. And the domed oval signet ring shape is the most visually compelling, by far.
The thumb is historically associated with power and wealth, and wearing a ring on this finger sends a very strong statement. Thick signet rings work well on the thumb because they perfectly complement the broad and bulky shape of this finger.
Admittedly, it’s an uncommon finger to wear a ring on, but it’s doable! And I’ve seen it done well.
The pinky ring is often the pièce de résistance of any look. To onlookers, wearing a ring on this finger sends a message that you’re a member of a group or are affiliated with a certain association.
Plus, it just looks badass 😉
The bulbous oval signet ring works best for the pinky finger, but experiment with different shapes and see what you like the most.
A Few Signet Ring Styles We Love
Most signet rings are made from strong metals like gold, silver and steel, while the most common stones include black onyx, blue lapis lazuli, and blood stone.
Some feel that diamonds in a signet ring are too showy and loud, and not in keeping with the historical look and tradition of a signet ring. But in our opinion, it all depends on your personal preference.
As always, pair your signet ring with matching metals to create a nice cohesive look. So for example, if you’re wearing a silver signet ring, wear a white metal watch and a belt with a silver detail instead of gold.
If you’re looking for recommendations, here are some signet rings we love.
- Serge DeNimes Silver Signet Ring
- Versace Medusa Enamel Signet Ring
- Vitaly Vaurus Signet Ring
- Alexander McQueen Signet Ring
This simple and understated ring is the perfect blank canvas. You can either engrave it with your own unique seal or leave it as is, as part of your minimal jewelry collection.
Instantly recognizable, this regal signet ring is adorned with Versace’s classic Medusa symbol. It’s the perfect accessory when you want to make a statement.
Sturdy, solid, classic cushion cut shape and design. Vitaly offers this signet ring in steel or gold tone, both with an onyx stone at its center.
As with anything this brand does, Alexander McQueen’s signet ring adds interest and excitement to any outfit. It’s a clean and contemporary take on old world crests.
Take your accessory game to the next level with a signet ring!
The signet ring is an iconic piece of jewelry that has played an important role in ancient customs.
It bestows a sense of pride and distinction in anyone that wears it today and it’ll set you apart from the crowd. Also, it just looks awesome!
Do you have any questions about signet rings or jewelry in general? Feel free to DM us on Instagram any time!