What does a signet ring cost?


The price of a signet ring can easily be requested online by asking for an offer for the desired ring through the collection of signet rings, but what factors determine the price of your signet ring?
by Guido van der Eerden

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How expensive is a signet ring? A signet ring is a personal work of art and valuable in many ways. The ring is completely handmade and engraved, and is made of expensive precious metals and gems. The signet ring also has an emotional value, also, that is created even before the ring is made. There is a special, often personal reason to choose a signet ring and the picking of the ring is often a special moment as well.

Labour costs of an expert goldsmith: A ring is traditionally handcrafted

Part of the cost of a signet ring, is the labour of the goldsmith. A signet ring is made by a specialized goldsmith. The rings are first cast in specially made molds, after which the goldsmith further processes the rings with various tools.

The workshop of a goldsmith.
Next, the seal stone is carefully hammered into the ring before the engraver gets started with it. (This is to prevent the engraverís efforts having been for nothing, should the seal stone unexpectedly burst during the hammering after finishing the engraving.)Then, the goldsmith completes the ring further, giving the ring a good polishing before handing it off to the engraver.

Signet ring is processed and engraved by hand

Labour costs heraldic engraver: A work of art with millimetre precision

In addition to the goldsmith, the heraldic engraver also needs to be paid for his masterwork. The signet stone is engraved entirely by hand. Because of the very small surface area and the complex engraving, this is a highly specialized operation. The engravers often need years of experience to be able to engrave well enough to complete a signet ring.

Noteworthy at the engraving of a signet stone is that the engraving pen is in a fixed position, and the seal stone (in the ring) is moved against the engraving ring. This is in contrast to, for example, glass etching, wherein the engraver holds the engraving pin. The latter is not possible with the engraving of a seal stone because of the hardness of the seal stone. With a bit of diamond on top of the engraving, the engraver can engrave the family crest in the hard seal stone.

The engraving is deeply engraved (intaglio) in the seal stone. This creates a wax seal with relief and depth.

The engraving of a family crest is normally engraved in reverse so that the wax seal of a signet ring displays the coat of arms correctly. In addition, the engraving is also deepened, so a nice relief or 3D structure occurs in print. The engraver has a certain artistic freedom when displaying a family crest. He takes into account the size and shape of the stone. The complexity of an engraving determines how long the engraver has to work on the seal stone, and is thus also a part of the costs of the ring.

Precious metal: Gold prices also determine the costs

Besides labour costs, the cost of a signet ring is also determined by the price of gold. The more gold (or other precious metal, such as silver) is incorporated in the ring, the greater the effect on the overall price of the ring. With rising gold prices, signet rings will be more expensive; in falling gold prices, the rings are cheaper. However, short-term price fluctuations are not very big; the metal costs are only a part of the costs.

Several precious metals: silver, gold and white gold.

The gold content is measured in "carats". It gives the content of fine gold that is used in jewellery. One carat can be considered to be 4% of pure gold (1 / 25th part). Common alloys are 14 carat and 18 carat gold. 14 karat (14kt) means 58.5% pure gold (indicated by 585). 18 karat gold is 75.0% pure gold (indicated by 750). Pure gold is too soft for jewellery; the ring could be bent with two fingers if it were made of pure gold. Therefore, gold is always alloyed with other metals (including silver, copper, palladium and nickel). Some alloys make a particular gold more expensive than other golds; white gold is an alloy of gold with the expensive palladium.

For current prices, have a look a the prices on our website or for special requests, feel free to request an offer for your desired signet ring.

Gemstones: Seal stones are rare gems

Signet rings are often equipped with a seal stone. A seal stone is a precious stone - rare stones that are used in jewellery. The gems are found in nature, after which they are cut and further processed. Previously, these gemstones were mined in Germany; today this mostly happens further away (in countries like, among others, Brazil, Uruguay and the United States). Because of their rarity, gems are expensive. They, thereby, define a portion of the cost of the signet ring.

Seal stones are natural stones.

The most famous gemstone for signet rings is the blue layered agate, an agate variant. Here, the top is of a blue colour, and the bottom of a black colour. The layers in the stone are formed in a natural way by colour deposits in the mineral. When engraved in the blue layer, the black layer beneath becomes visible.

Blue layered agates come in several colour variants. You can see the stones without engraving (in the rings), and with a sample engraving (in front). Because of the contrast of the blue top layer and the black lower layer, the engraving is clearly visible.

The signet ring as an investment

A signet ring is a valuable and precious ring. The acquisition costs are primarily determined by wages of the goldsmith and the specialized engraver (among other things depending on the complexity of the engraving) and cost of materials used (among other things depending on the gold price). As time passes, the ring becomes more valuable. From the moment the ring is made, it will, in most cases, be carried a lifetime. Whatever someone goes through, the signet ring is there. The ring has an emotional value, not only for the original owner, but also for future generations.

Of course it can be factored into a cost consideration that the ring will last for years (generations). For many people, the signet ring is an investment for themselves and future generations.

Want to know how expensive the ring of your choice is? Please contact us or request an online offer by clicking on the corresponding ring in our collection. By requesting a custom price quote you can always receive a non-binding indication of the cost for your custom made signet ring as soon as possible.

Article by Guido van der Eerden
is heraldic jeweler and partner at Signet Ring BV (Zegelring BV). Together with his colleagues, Guido helps customers with perfectly handmade custom signet rings. Carefully selecting the most beautiful signet rings and the best heraldic craftsmen from around Europe - and delivering signet rings worldwide, Marlies guarantees high-quality signet rings that you will treasure forever. Every signet ring is created by a partnership between heraldic jeweler, goldsmith, engraver and heraldic experts. "A signet ring really is a personal piece of art - handmade to the millimeter."


About us

Signet Ring (Zegelring BV) is an exclusive heraldic jeweler. Our specialized knowledge of signet rings, family crests and traditions guarantee a personal piece of jewelry that you wear endlessly. All our rings are handmade in Europe and shipped world wide.

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