The style and type of engraving is what makes one's signet ring's soul.

Most often, signet rings are made of a classic shaped ring (round, square, oval...) with a flat engraved top.

But it is possible to be much more creative if you aim for a custom signet ring design.

Here, we will make you discover the different types of engraving that can be done in our workshop on a signet ring, both on the central plateau and on the sides of the ring, in silver or 18k gold.

deep engraved initials on gold signet ring crest engraving on gold signet ring wax seal made from engraved signet ring
templar seal signet ring wax seal of templar knights portugal crest 18k gold signet ring


  1. Intaglio: deep engraving
  2. 3D Molded engraving
  3. Different engraving techniques
  4. Engraving cost
  5. Custom engraving service

Intaglio engraving on signet rings

For the silver signet rings, the intaglio engraving is easily highlighted by oxidizing the silver, offering a strong black-on-white contrast that enhances the design of the engraving.

Rings engraved only on the top

This signet ring shows us an engraved design highlighted by oxidation of silver in the engraving.

sterling silver engraved signet ring

The drawing and monogram deep engraved and oxidized contrast with polished silver

The same principle is applied to this design, the top also with a large surface engraved.

blason engraving on silver signet ring

Crest engraved on the signet ring's top

On this signet ring oval, there is a hollow engraving but also relief elements in the middle of the circular engraved area around the initial M of the family to which this coat of arms belongs.

coat of arms silver signet ring

Discover the creation of this signet ring project here

This other project shows an engraving with wide letters and clipping, the engraving background being here again oxidized.

initials signet ring

Deep engraving of initials, oxidized in black

This principle of intaglio engraving is also applicable on solid gold signet rings.

Oxidation of gold is not possible, the background of the engraving is left bare or blackened with enamel or resin as we will see later.

white gold initials signet ring

18k white gold signet ring with initials engraved

Side engraving of signet rings

The signet rings are often large rings, with amounts offering a beautiful space, it is tempting to take the opportunity to decorate other engravings, as shown by these projects.

This signet shows us an engraving on the central plate and two identical engravings on each of the amounts of the ring.

side engraved silver signet ring

This other example of a signet ring shows us a large surface engraved in depth on the plate and a symbol engraved on the side.

phoenix signet ring in silver

Each side of the ring is engraved with custom symbols

The principle is identical for gold signet rings, the one presented below shows an engraving of a hollowed heraldic lion as well as engravings of initials on the sides.

The hollows are blackened with resin, ensuring a beautiful contrast on rhodium white gold.

white gold signet ring engraved with an heraldic lion

White 18k gold engraved with a heraldic lion on the top and initials on each side, note you can choose your preferred font for your custom made signet ring

Molded engravings

For relief engravings, several options are possible depending on whether the choice is on a signet of a single metal or two-tone.

In the case of a signet ring made of a single metal, the reliefs will be molded as shown in these examples:

This signet has a relief molding with intaglio engravings on the sides of the ring.

biker silver ring

We detail here how we made this biker ring with skull engraving

Another example with this bandeau signet ring whose entire circumference is engraved in relief
aigle silver signet ring

Or this championship signet ring that has intaglio engravings and moldings engraved in 3D

championship ring engraved in silver

Details of this creation are available here

The same is true for gold signet rings with intricate designs, as shown by this signet engraved with a relief eagle.
white gold eagle signet ring

This signet ring with a lily flower molding on the board.

signet ring in yellow gold with molded royal symbol engraved

As regards rings with embossed or two-tone initials, the etching can be performed by saw cutting, the product of this cut is then attached to the ring and welded in place as shown in these examples:

This signet ring with the SNCF logo reported cut and welded on a solid silver band ring.

gold and silver signet ring engravable

Molded monogram in 18k yellow gold on the top of the ring while both sides are intaglio engraved on the silver

This Celtic ring follows the same principle with a decoration on the top and side plate 18k gold cut and welded in place.

silver signet ring engraved with molded part in 18k gold

The same applies to rings with welded initials:

initials signet ring in silver with letters in 18k gold

Sterling silver ring with initials in 18k yellow gold

Same principle for this silver signet ring decorated with diamond, ruby and sapphire.

silver signet ring with stones set


Different signet rings engraving style

When we talk about engraving, we must specify what we are talking about.

Indeed, there are different types of engravings and different techniques to achieve, each with its advantages and disadvantages and a cost of its own.

Heraldic engraving

Traditionally, the engraving of signet rings (heraldic art) is handmade by specialized craftsmen: master engravers.

They work with a magnifying glass with sharp tools that allow them to chip the metal to create an intaglio engraving following the client's crest.

heraldic signet ring engraving

The pros:

  • engraving can be done on metal or stone
  • it is the most beautiful engraving, deep, durable and offering a secular historical heritage
  • The engraving can be extremely fine (it is done with a magnifying glass)

The cons:

  • This is the most expensive technique
  • engraving is usually only available in hollow
  • the artisans only work forged signet rings, which limits the choice of signet designs.

Some French craftsmen offer their online service for this type of engraving:

Mechanical engraving

It is an engraving made by a machine, either at the diamond point or by means of a laser. This allows for elaborate and personalized engravings.

The pros:

  • this type of engraving is very economical
  • it's the perfect option for a serial job

The cons:

  • the metal is only scratched in area, so the engraving is not deep
  • Many online stores offer this service when you buy a silver signet ring of classic design.

CAD engraving

This is the technique we use in our Vivalatina workshop.

A digital model of the ring is made on a computer, allowing us to reproduce both intaglio, embossed and moldings.

The gold or silver signet ring is then obtained by a melting process.

rough casted signet ring in silver  finished engraved signet ring

The pros:

  • It is a versatile technique adapted to almost any engraving design
  • Leave a total choice of the style of the ring
  • Allows engraving intaglio and in 3D relief

The cons:

  • modern technique lacking the history of hand engraving
  • the fineness of the details is as small as 0.3 mm while the hand engraving descent below 0,1 millimeter

Engraving costs 

As you have seen, the cost of an engraved signet ring depends :

  • on the metal (silver, 14k or 18k gold)
  • how many engravings you need for your signet ring design
  • Who (which shop) does your engraving

For our own jewelry workshop, here are our starting prices:

  • From $500 USD for a silver signet ring
  • From $1000 USD for an 18k signet ring

Of course, those signet ring prices depend on your ring size, the mass of gold and the complexity of your signet ring design.

Custom engraving service

If you're thinking about designing your own signet ring, you should have a look at this presentation of dozens of signet ring designs made in our workshop.

You can check our custom ring service here or contact us from this online form.

large custom made signet ring in 18k gold 18k gold engraved signet ring gemstone engraved signet ring


More information:


April 30, 2019 — Hugo Maherault

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.