Hatton Jewels, Jewellers of Excellence in Hatton Garden

Hatton jewels jewelleryHatton Jewels, an appointment-only jewellery boutique nestled in a beautiful mews street off the main strip of jewellers in Hatton Garden, has been providing customers with bespoke, vintage and antique engagement rings since 2007.

With over 100 years combined experience, the expert GIA certified team are incredibly passionate about jewellery, and deliver exceptional customer experience.

Not just limited to engagement rings, Hatton Jewels offer a wide range of jewellery from antique necklaces to sapphires, eternity rings and wedding bands, specialising in coloured stones and old cut diamonds. All of these fantastic pieces can be viewed on their online store.

They also offer a complete design your own engagement ring service, where you can choose every aspect of the ring, from the mount, carat and shape of the stone. This can be configured using their online store or by booking an appointment and speaking through your needs with one of the expert team.

If you just have an idea of the ring you would like to create, or a few images of different rings you like, the team can help create a design completely tailored to your needs, and help with the consultation through to design and hand finishing the ring in the workshop. Hatton Jewels use 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) so you can see exactly how the ring will look before it is made.

Hatton Jewels also offer a number of helpful services, from jewellery engraving, jewellery cleaning, repairs and offer one of the best jewellery valuation services around. If you are looking to sell your jewellery they can often beat any quote from an auction house through access to their international trade network, grown through being in the jewellery industry for over 40 years.

If you are looking for that special ring, or any other piece of beautiful jewellery, visit hattonjewels.com to view the range or book an appointment.

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SIGNET RINGS

How to wear your signet ringKnown as the ‘gentleman’s ring’, the signet ring is traditionally seen as a symbol of family heritage. However, it has been around longer than heraldry. For many centuries, the signet ring bore the family crest or coat of arms – see our Alternative Guide to Engraving for other ideas – engraved in reverse so that it could be pressed into soft clay or wax and used as a seal on a document.

 

Sealing in this way was official, authentic and could not be forged. It was seen as a form of identification. Because of this, signet rings are often referred to as ‘seal rings’. The name comes from the Latin ‘Signum’ which means ‘sign’.

Now, signet rings are worn by men and women from all walks of life who wish to exhibit style, or a sentimental connection with something or someone.

 

The History of the Signet Ring

Seals were used in the earliest civilizations. In ancient Mesopotamia, engraved cylindrical seals made of ston

e were used to create impressions in clay. Worn by Pharaohs, primitive stone and faience (pottery), rings have been found dating back to Ancient Egypt, bearing the names of gods in hieroglyphics.

It was not until the Late Bronze Age (2300 BC) that signet rings started to take the form we recognize today. By the Hellenistic Period (from 323 BC), they started to be worn more for aesthetic purposes; King Mithridates VI of Turkey (born 120 BC), a man clearly after our own heart, was known to have an impressive collection of signets.

By the middle ages (from the 5th to 15th century), the introduction of sealing wax meant signet rings transitioned from being made with a raised carving, to intaglio, which meant their design was sunken. This would leave an impression in the wax more effectively.

Wax seals were often used to authenticate a document and were commonplace in most royal chanceries (medieval writing offices) by the end of the 10th Century. Almost every person of nobility wore a signet ring engraved with their family’s crest or coat of arms. Over time, sealing in wax gradually became less elitist and by the middle of the 13th century, freemen adopted the practice.

Signet rings became popular with the rise of the bourgeoisie. In the absence of a coat of arms, the middle classes used a signet ring to denote sophistication.

The 17th century saw signet rings fall out of favour and the higher echelons of society would wear their seal in an ornamental mount, on a chain as a fob instead. This was a common method until the 18th century when signet rings rose into fashion once more.

The very wealthy could afford a precious stone on the bezel of the ring – see What Makes a Signet Ring, below – (view Rebus’ full collection here). The most common stones used in the 18th century were ruby, amethyst, garnet, chrysoprase, bloodstone, cornelian, and chalcedony. Rings were most commonly made from gold, until later in the 19th century when platinum became popular.

Throughout history, the signet ring has been passed down as a family heirloom. Most titled aristocrats had their family crest or coat of arms on the bezel; William Cavendish, the sixth Duke of Devonshire (born 1790) wore a light green chrysoprase signet, carved with the Devonshire crest over the initial D, with the garland of the Order of the Garter when he was granted dukedom.

By the end of the 19th century, men of all classes had started to wear signet rings, with merchants often choosing monograms on their rings.

Signet Rings Today

Today, the elitism associated with signet rings is falling away. Some people still choose to have their family crests engraved on their rings, but others decide to be more creative. See our Alternative Guide to Engraving for more information. Some people choose to wear them every day, whereas others only put them on for special occasions. They are often given as 21st birthday presents, or are worn as wedding rings.

Signet rings can also denote membership to a club. Even today, Freemasons sometimes use signet rings to identify themselves and military men wear signets to reflect rank or status. They are also worn by people who have the right to bear arms.

The popularity of signet rings continues to increase. The image of the signet ring has been boosted by positive portrayals in popular culture, such as in Tom Ford’s wildly successful film A Single Man, in which the stylish main character, played by Colin Firth, wears one with aplomb.

 

What Makes A Signet Ring?

Signet rings have a flat bezel (the surface which bares your engraving – see the ‘shop’ section on our website to pick your style. A design is usually engraved in intaglio (meaning it will leave a raised impression of the design if the ring is pressed into sealing wax). As you can see in our Alternative Guide, the design is often engraved as a mirror image to ensure it appears the correct way around when stamped, discover more in our Q&A with master Rebus craftsmen.

-How to choose the shape of your ring

Here are some popular signet ring shapes – see our shop by style section for more information:

Oxford Oval – perhaps the most popular and traditional shape for signet rings.

Round – thought to be more contemporary than the traditional oval.

Marquise – an elegant and unusual diamond shape.

Cushion – a soft, square-shaped ring, a favourite during the Victorian era.

Find out more about size and shape here: http://www.rebussignetrings.co.uk/media/wysiwyg/FaceSizesWeb.pdf

-Why choose a heavy set design?

The weight of your ring will not affect the design. The extra-heavyweight oxford oval, for example, simply has more gold evenly distributed throughout the ring, which gives a deep signet head and thicker shank – an approximate thickness of 2mm-3mm. The heavyweight option is slightly lighter, with an approximate head thickness of 1.5mm – 2mm.

If you would like a unique design engraved on your signet ring, we would recommend that you choose an extra heavy oxford oval. This will provide the best canvas possible for our craftsmen to work with.

-How do I choose a stone for my ring?

Rebus offers a variety of stones to have set in your ring. We can accommodate for any preference, but here are some finer details on more popular options:

Tigers Eye – a golden/red-brown chatoyant gemstone displaying an almost silky appearance due to the parallel growth of rutile quartz crystals.

Onyx – a type of quartz, commonly seen in black.

Sardonyx – a type of agate layered with sard. When engraved, the detail is particularly pronounced due to the different coloured layer beneath.

Lapis Lazuli – a striking deep blue semi-precious stone, peppered with gold flecks of Pyrite.

Cornelian aka Carnelian – a reddy/brown agate.

Bloodstone – a green variety of jasper with red flecks of hematite.

-What precious metal should I choose?

Rebus handcraft their signet rings from solid sterling silver, 9ct, 14ct and 18ct gold (in yellow, white and rose gold) and in platinum.

Gold is a traditional choice for a signet ring and its appeal as a precious metal dates back to 600 BC, when it was first used in coin form. Gold artifacts have been found dating back to 4th millennium BC, representing wealth, wisdom, and longevity.

Pure gold is too soft to make into a ring, so it is always mixed with other metals (alloys).

The carat represents how many parts gold out of a thousand:

9ct = 375 parts gold out of 1000

14ct = 585 parts gold out of 1000

18ct = 750 parts out of 1000

It is entirely up to you which you choose; the lower the carat, the paler the gold will be. The higher the gold content, the softer it becomes. 18ct gold signet rings are rich in colour and will darken with age – whatever carat you choose, it will last a lifetime.

Yellow gold – the shade depends on the gold content, as mentioned above.

White gold – yellow gold combined with metals such as palladium and silver.

Rose gold – became popular in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century and is made by adding copper to yellow gold. The shade varies depending on the amount of copper and the carat (9ct is pinker than 18ct).

Platinum – naturally greyish-white in colour and is the rarest precious metal on the planet (also one of the strongest and heaviest). Only 160 tons of platinum are mined every year, in comparison to around 165,000 tons of gold. It is also hypoallergenic.

Silver – the metal we work with least. However, many prefer it as a subtler, less expensive option. Despite this, it has been valued for centuries as a precious metal and was once seen as more valuable than gold.

How to Wear Signet Rings

Traditionally, the signet ring was worn on the small ‘pinkie’ finger of the non dominant hand. This was so the ring could fulfil its primary purpose efficiently, which was to emboss or seal a document. This started in ancient Egypt and was carried on by the Romans. Men today often wear signet rings on their left little finger.

However, there are no hard and fast rules. Fashion and tradition has relaxed in all areas of style. Some wear their ring on their third ‘ring’ finger, like Prince Charles – see the ‘famous wearers’ section below and some on their middle finger.

Who Has Worn Them?

Prince Charles wears one adorned with the fleur-de-lis alongside his wedding ring.

Steve McQueen was rarely seen without a gold square signet on his ring finger.

Sir Winston Churchill wore a signet ring with his family crest on his third finger.

Henrietta Queen of France, who died in 1669, wore a diamond signet ring with the coat of arms of her husband King Charles I.

The Pope has worn a signet ring called the Ring of The Fisherman or the ‘Piscatory Ring’ since around 1265, with an engraving which represents Saint Peter.

Some Little Known Facts

-The study of seals (not the animal, mind) is known as sigillography or sphragistics.

-When a Pope dies, his signet ring is ceremonially destroyed by hammering in two lines in the shape of the cross.

-When depicting the story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den, The Old Testament makes reference to signet rings: ‘And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel’ – Daniel 6:17.

-There is a signet ring preserved in the British Museum in London which is inscribed with the name and position of an Egyptian priestly official.

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Diamond Engagement Rings Guide

DIAMOND ENGAGEMENT RINGS GUIDE Is there any purchase more important than a diamond engagement ring? All women dream about the moment they are proposed to. Will it be in Paris? Will it be in public or private? Will there be rose petals all over the ground? And, most importantly, what will the ring be like? There is a lot of pressure on the man to get it right, and we are guessing you probably haven’t bought a lot of diamond rings in your time, so it can be a bit daunting and intimidating. But, don’t fret, as we have put together this guide to help you out.

Pear shape and tapered baguettes Diamond Engagement Ring Cushion Cut Micro Setting Diamond Engagement Ring in a Box REVE Bespoke Oval Micro Setting 6Pear shape and tapered baguettes Diamond Engagement Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grading – There is only one place to begin, and this is with diamond grading. There are a number of diamond grading systems used around the world, but it is recommended that you choose a GIA certified stone, as the Gemological Institute of America is the most recognised and widely used system.

So, how is a diamond graded?

* Cut       * Clarity         * Colour         * Carat

These are known as the four ‘C’s, and it is important to have an understanding of them. We explain them in full detail in our education section. However, we’ll give you a quick breakdown here. Cut is the way in which the diamond is cut – the proportions – it’s not the shape of the diamond. The cut impacts the way in which the light reflects off the surface. Clarity refers do the diamond’s inclusions/blemishes, and the colour is how transparent the diamond is. Finally, carat refers to the weight.

Our recommendations are to look for a diamond that has a clarity grade of VS1 – SI1, a colour grade of D – G, a fluorescence grade of none – faint, and a cut/polish grade of excellent – very good. Nonetheless, seeing the diamond in person is the best solution, so you can really get a feel for what it is like and get recommendations from a specialist.

Budget – Now that you are educated regarding the four C’s, you should consider your budget. Diamond rings vary in price considerably, so it is a good idea to set a limit. Don’t worry if you have a tight budget; there are different qualities that you can play around with to lower the price.

Metal – What type of metal are you going to choose? Popular options include white gold, yellow gold and platinum. According to our latest survey 60% of buyers preferred platinum rings, while 20% white gold, 10% yellow, and 10% rose gold.

Diamond shape – The shape of the diamond is so important and if you are lucky your girlfriend may have hinted about this before. You have many options to choose from, such as Princess, Emerald, Heart, Round, Oval, Pear, and Marquise. 50% of respondents opted for a traditional round brilliant, while 20% went for oval cut diamonds, 15% cushion cut and the remainder diving between princess, pear and emerald.

Ring setting – There are a number of patterns and details to choose from. However, most rings fall into one of the following three settings: halo setting, side stone and solitaire. The latter is a single stone, which is held securely in a prong setting so that the diamond catches the light. This is the most popular style of engagement ring. A side stone setting is one whereby the main stone is flanked by other gemstones or diamonds for additional colour or sparkle. Finally, a halo setting is one whereby the main stone is surrounded by tiny diamonds to create the illusion of greater size or to add sparkle.

Ring size – Last but not least, you need to get your girlfriend’s ring size right. Most women have a ring size ranging from G to R, with the most common sizes being between K to N. The best thing to do is take one of your girlfriend’s rings without her realising, and get the size this way.

So there you have it – all of the things you need to consider when you are looking for a diamond engagement ring. If you need some assistance, don’t hesitate to book a free appointment with one of our experts. We would be more than happy to guide you and show you the different options we have available for your budget. Explore our Diamond Engagement rings.

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Historical Engagement Rings

The history of engagement ring bestowing is far older than you might think. Traditions of giving a ring associated with love and romance go back thousands of years to the ancient world.

Ancient love token ringsDiamond set engagement ringTudor and Stuart ringsVintage and Retro rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Ancient Greek rings featuring symbolic love knots, to the earliest betrothal rings from Ancient Rome showcasing intaglios depicting the god of love, Cupid. Then we see Medieval ‘fede’

rings; the precursors to the modern concept of wedding rings known as ‘posy’ rings and early diamond set Tudor rings so rare they would be fit for a Queen. Following these are glittering Georgian diamonds contrasted by their silver settings; richly ornamented Victorian engagement rings; elegant and refined pretty Edwardian styles through to bold geometric Art Deco designs and stylish retro rings of the 1940s and 50s.

If you are interested in the history of engagement ring giving, Berganza can help you choose something a little more unusual so that you can present your loved one with a truly unique and extremely rare ring bursting with history- visit us in our shop or via the website www.berganza.com  for more information and to view our entire one-of-a-kind stock.

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Bespoke Jewellery Design by Anais Rose

Bespoke jewellery design by Anais Rose image3Samantha, founder of Anais Rose has been in the diamond jewellery industry for over 16 years. Specialising in the bespoke design of engagement rings, wedding bands & all fine jewellery.

I offer a truly personal service, whether you’re looking at diamond rings from the Anais Rose collection or looking to create a whole new piece of your own, I am here to help you with both the design process and selecting the best stones for you and your setting type.

I feel you should never be rushed into purchasing or creating a piece of jewellery and so I work by appointment – giving you the space and time to consider all of the options available to you.

I’m Proud to say that my work is based highly on recommendation and I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people, creating beautiful pieces of jewellery, jewellery that carries your own story and will be treasured for generations to come!

Testimonials & exclusive jewellery designs are available to view at www.anaisrose.com

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