Posts tagged ‘europe’

Signet rings

From time to time my desire to have a signet ring resurfaces and I start going around the Internet looking at those borne by others and samples on display by various artists & craftsmen.

I started writing this post almost six months ago and a post I recently read on Fredrik Brodin’s Armorial Blog on the same topic made me realize that he did a better job than I.  I would urge anyone to read Fredrik’s article however, I felt I could contribute a little to augment what’s already there.

I wanted to go over the regional traditions:

In the British Isles:

  • Favor the use of the crest, crest and motto, or badge.
  • Prefer the use of solid gold signet rings.
  • Wear the ring on the left pinky finger.

In France:

  • Use the shield, with coronets of ranks when appropriate.
  • Use of solid gold signet rings is most common, though the use of semi precious stones is also found.
  • Wear the ring on the left ring finger.

In Germanic Countries:

  • Prefer to depict the entire armorial achievement. However, it is not uncommon where shield and coronet of rank, if appropriate have been used.
  • Prefer the use of a gold ring set with an engraved semi-precious or precious stone.
  • Wear the ring on the left ring finger.

In Scandinavian countries:

  • Use the shield and coronet (if applicable) or crest.
  • Prefer the use of a gold ring.
  • Wear the ring on the left pinky though it is also commonly found on the right hand ring finger.

In Greece & other South East European countries:

  • Prefer either solid gold or gold with a semi-precious stone.
  • Wear the ring on the right pinky.

 In the Iberian Peninsula:

  • Use the shield and coronet of rank (if applicable).
  • Prefer either solid gold or gold with a semi-precious stone.
  • Wear the ring on the left pinky.

In the Americas:

  • Follow the tradition of the country that originally found the colony (i.e. Britain for the US & Canda, Spain for most of the rest, Portugal for Brazil, etc.) or the tradition of their own country of origin

Naturally, a modern day armiger can start his or her own tradition and wear the ring wherever is most comfortable.

 

 

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