- Explore the Signet
Origins and traditions
Few pieces of jewellery can match the history of the signet. Of all designs of ring, it has been the one that has been worn continuously and that has maintained its symbolic value. From its earliest days, when few could write and the seals they bore were a distinguishing mark essential for governance and business, it has continued to endure. And in each age the signet has been reinterpreted; through the middle ages when heraldic shields and coats of arms were introduced, and on into the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when they became a symbol of gentlemanly ascensions to fortune by sword and wit and were venerated as heirlooms, to more recent reinterpretations when the signet has come to symbolise present-day moments of celebration and achievement.
Our signet design is firmly woven into these traditions. It stands above seasons and trends and continues to complement any occasion and style. In the spirit of our own times, our Graduation signet is simple, limiting the inscription to the bezel around the shield and the option of two discreet side panels referencing your degree on each shoulder of the ring. Utmost it has been designed to be beautiful and clearly express your achievement.
The University’s Arms were granted on 18 March 1955 by Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms to the Birmingham Corporation for use by the former College of Technology. They were designed to show the College’s connection with the City and with the teaching of technology.
The arms consist of a shield and crest. The shield has two sections – the field (the main background) which is coloured blue and a chief (the broad band across the top of the shield) of silver. On the field is a diagonal line of five gold diamonds joined one to the other, similar to the first quarter of the Arms of the City of Birmingham and incorporated in the Arms of the College to show its connection with the City. This was adopted by the family of Bermingham, which derived its name from the then hamlet of Birmingham, and provided the Lords of the Manor from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries.
On the chief is depicted an open book bound in red placed between two black hammers, showing the connection of the University with technology, the book representing learning and the hammers engineering and allied trades. The crest is also designed to stress the pursuit of knowledge. It consists of a red torch held erect by a forearm between two branches of gold laurel.
Having been originally worn on the helmet of a fully-armed person, the crest is always placed on the top of the helm. The method of joining the crest to the helm was usually concealed by decoration and, in the University’s arms, this is effected by the use of a wreath and a crown.
The wreath is silver, red and black, these colours being taken from the shield. It is surmounted by a mural crown (resembling a wall) which is reserved in modern grants for persons and organisations connected with public corporations. The cloth mantling which hangs down from the top of the helm is the survival of the cloak which was originally worn to protect the armour coloured in the two principal colours of the shield, blue and gold.
The ring is the product of meticulous craftsmanship. Each ring is made from absolutely pure alloys and painstakingly cast, removing the possibility of imperfections and ensuring the finished ring is both beautiful and durable and in the spirit of a piece of jewellery that will last a lifetime.
Every ring is limited to an edition of one: the one you personalise and commission us to make. It will be designed by obsessives, crafted by obsessives, and we believe our workmanship does justice to the hard work and the values that you put into your time at university and will ensure our name remains synonymous with quality and perfect craftsmanship.
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