The Design Process of A Bespoke Signet Ring UK 

Signet rings, one of the most traditional forms of jewellery, have been popular from as early as 3500 BC. Originally, they were often used as a way to display a family crest or also as a way to stamp envelopes and letters with this crest in wax. This summer, we’ve noticed a trend in the amount of signet rings being commissioned and decided it was time to have one of these infamous rings in our stock cabinets too…
The inspiration behind our ring was zodiac signs, specifically Pisces, which is Justine’s star sign!


The Design Process


Getting the shape made:

The story starts with the metal work that must be complete in order to create the basic structure of the ring. This begins with a process called Stamping.
A sheet of precious metal is taken, in this particular case – silver, and is placed into a metal press. This metal press compresses the sheet of metal into a flat profile of a signet ring. When stamped underneath a great weight, the sheet of metal compresses further, resulting in an extremely dense and strong metal. Once this flat metal profile is complete, it is sent back to us at the Artisan workshop…


Metal Work: 

The final part of the metal work was then finished at the bench. This included shaping up the flat metal sheet into a ring shape as well sizing the band. Then it was time for a quick sand and polish.


Sketching the pattern for engraving: 

After the metal work had finished, it was time to start designing the details! For this signet ring, we knew we wanted engraving. The detailing and depth it adds to a piece is exciting to experiment with and the width of signet rings provides the perfect base for it. We decided on a sketch of fishes for the front of the ring as the constellation of this water based star sign is said to look like two fishes swimming in opposite directions. Despite this, the ring still felt a little empty so we decided to create a simplistic pattern to run along the shoulders of the ring. I started sketching a few little line drawings on paper and gradually whittled them down to a few potential designs that we liked. Then, using a special pen that can be rubbed off of the metal, I started to roughly sketch the designs onto the base of the ring and through trial and error, we decided on the final design for the shoulders of the ring. For the final part of this process, I drew up our chosen design on a larger scale to ensure that it was perfect. This sketch was then sent off to our engraver, leaving black dots in the places where we wanted diamonds to be set.


Engraving finished and deciding where to place the setting: 

Once the engraving had been finished, the ring was sent back to us in the workshop. During the design process it can be hard to visualise how a
sketch will look on such a small piece, so it’s always very exciting to see the finished engraving! We wanted any stones included in this ring to be star set, a style of setting where the stone is set in the centre of a star shape which is carved into the metal, and the stone held in place by tiny beads of metal. After seeing the design, we realised that having two diamonds set on each shoulder would leave the ring feeling crowded, so we decided to only have one diamond set on each shoulder instead. We marked up the places where we wanted the diamonds to be set and sent it off to our setter.


Polish & clean up: 
Once the stones had been set, the final step was to fully polish and clean the ring to leave it all shiny and sparkly awaiting its new home…
& viola! 
One handmade, silver Picses inspired signet ring, star set with 2 round brilliant cut diamonds. Whilst this ring was designed to be a new addition to our in store stock collection, keep in mind that we can alter our designs to suit all different star signs, styles, personalities and budgets.









If you would like a bespoke piece made, book your free design consultation today to pop into the workshop and chat about the endless jewellery possibilities.