FIND MY FAMILY CREST
The History of the Family Crest Ring
The wearing of rings by man dates back at least 6000 years and has continued in one form or another to the present day. Archaeological digs have discovered rings dating to the Hittite Civilization around the 18th Century B.C. The Old Kingdom Egypt civilization, 3000 B.C. produced a variety of finger rings and a few basic designs have been found including the famous scabbard design. Ring wearing gained popularity at the time of the Roman Empire particularly in the Augustan period. A trend during the Imperial Period had Roman women wearing rings that bore the images of animals worshiped by the Egyptians.
A ring distinguished an individual in a way that other forms of jewelry did not. Finger rings represented the language of social code, and connoted one’s social standing. Under the Roman Empire, the finger ring was considered a privilege and was often conferred for military distinction. As time wore on and attitudes changed ring wearing spread to the general populace. Even so, the ring still retained its position as a mark of dignity, an important seal, and a token of betrothal.
The wearing of signet rings originally dates to ancient Egyptian times; the distinctive personal signature had not yet been developed and documents needed a seal or mark to authenticate them. Family Crest Rings as we know them today similarly find their origin in the seals that were used from the 10th Century on in Western Europe. Wax seals were being used on a fairly regular basis by most western royal chanceries by about the end of the 10th century. In England, very few wax seals have survived of earlier date than the Norman Conquest, although some earlier matrices are known, recovered from archaeological digs: the earliest is a gold double-sided matrix found near Postwick, Norfolk, and dated to the late 7th century; the next oldest is a mid-9th-century matrix of a Bishop Ethilwald. The practice of sealing in wax gradually moved down the social hierarchy from monarchs and bishops to great magnates, to petty knights by the end of the 12th century, and to ordinary freemen by the middle of the 13th century. (photo: 16th century english crest ring)
Once upon a time, the signet ring was an important accessory for all those who held positions of power. A Sterling Silver or Gold Medieval Family Crest Signet Ring would have been both a seal of authority and a symbol of power for all those who possessed and used one. A signet ring typically fulfilled two rules. Usually, they were worn only by those in positions of power, as the seal they featured represented a higher power and thus, the ring was symbolic of that calling. Kings, judges, and bishops would have all worn distinct and unique family crest signet rings, and others would have recognized the rings for their symbolic value. They were also used to seal letters, by pressing the seal into wax to create a royal or holy seal that marked documents as important to state or church. A family crest ring acknowledges those that came before you and is a noble and elegant way to display the pride you have in your ancestry. Coat of arms rings have been around as long as heraldry has, over a thousand years. (photo:17th century german crest ring)