Ian Grant
Finest kilt accessories, heraldic & ornamental hand engraving

Engraved Signet Rings

We will hand engrave

Laser Engraved?

Laser engraving is precise and exact. A flat surface cut out to throw the subject into relief will be perfectly flat, every contour will be true, every hair will be in place, the spaces between all dots and hatched lines will be equal, the same letter repeated will be identical to the first and two boars’ heads will match in every detail.

Hand Engraved?

By comparison a hand-engraved item will have a different form of perfection, something that is frequently called ‘indefinable’ - a master engraver will give the engraving life.   The two letters will not be identical; the contours which define the neck muscles of a beast will look like muscles, not like a touched-up photograph. Hatched lines and dots will not be equidistant and you will be able to detect differences between the two boars’ heads.


Our work becomes an heirloom and when judged by tomorrow’s expert it will be recognised for what it is: a unique masterpiece of its time. The laser engraving will also be recognised for what it is - just another stereotype.
any initials, monogram, heraldic device or other motif on our signet rings.

We offer only die-stamped

Die-Stamped and Forged Signet Rings

The basic outline shape of the ring is produced by die-stamping. This is done under great pressure compressing the metal so that it becomes extremely dense and hard, but it is not yet a ring; it is flat. Shaping this stamping is now the work of a skilled goldsmith who starts by forging the shape and size required: a process of heating and hammering, which further hardens and compresses the metal.

This done, the ring must now be dressed: the head and shoulders may have lost a little of their shape and will have been bruised; they are now filed back into shape and polished until they are ready for engraving. This can affect the head size and weight of the ring and so the figures we quote are approximate.

Because the metal is harder and more dense the engraving will be precise and sharp. The final result is a much stronger, harder wearing ring than one made by casting and an engraving with much better definition.
rings. We will not engrave on castAlthough cast rings are less expensive, the metal is porous, not of sufficient quality for our engraving and wears more quickly than die-stamped rings.

One technique sometimes used with cast rings is to solder a hard plate onto the face of the ring and engrave that. This is then disguised by engraving round the join.

We will not do this - we will not use cast rings.

We use three styles of engraving on signet rings which we illustrate in our engraving section:
  • Line engraving, sometimes referred to as surface engraving, but these are deep lines engraved at different angles according to the visual effect the engraver wishes to achieve, this effect is created by reflected light.
  • Intaglio engraving where we engrave more deeply into the metal in order to create a three-dimensional reverse image which will produce a positive image when pressed on wax.   This is the technique used for engraving seal rings.
  • Cameo engraving which is the reverse of intaglio: we create a three-dimensional positive image on the shoulders of the ring with this method
The ring illustrated here is a seal ring engraved intaglio on the face and cameo on the shoulders. You can see a larger version in our engraving section.