- 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 Coat of Arms
The arms of the University of Reading were granted on 7 August 1896 when the newly incorporated University Extension College, Reading was still part of Oxford University. This was thirty years before it was granted a Royal charter and became a university in its own right. The coat is one of only six armorial bearings adopted or granted by English universities before the turn of the 20th Century.
The three scallop shells on the upper part of the shield had been the arms of Reading Abbey founded in 1121 and their presence serves as a reminder that the first college was once part of the Abbey.
It is also possible that the scallop shells might allude to the arms of the local family, the Palmers. Walter Palmer, son of the co-founder of the Huntley and Palmers biscuit firm that came to Reading in the 1840s, was the first President of Reading University Extension College and the family has been and remain benefactors of the University today.
On the lower portion of the shield is the Lancaster Rose set on an engrailed cross and is derived from the arms of Christ Church Oxford, to whose initiative the Extension College owed its foundation.
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.