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Updated: | 3th July 2016

Crest or Coat of Arms

In case you were thinking you would like a more elaborate engraving. It is possible to engrave the whole coat of arms rather than the ‘crest’, which is actually only part of the full coat of arms. These engraved signet rings and pendant depict the full coat of arms. Please click the images to enlarge and find out more.

Find out more about the difference between a coat of arms and a crest. Or alternatively you would like to see rings engraved with other heraldic devices, such as a shield or crest.

 
Sardonyx Ring and Pendant Engraved with a Coat-of-Arms
We supplied a matching pendant and signet ring here shown in 14ct yellow gold set with blue sardonyx. You may notice the signet ring is seal engraved (reversed) to produce a wax impression, while the pendant is engraved for show i.e. ‘not reversed’ - This style of engraving is also sometimes called intaglio, and is not intended to produce wax seals. This engraving is of a full coat of arms. The crest is the top part of an arms, in this case it is the arm in armour out of a coronet holding an arrow.

It is heraldically incorrect to call the whole design a crest. The crest is the top part of the arms. Starting in the early medieval period the crest was worn on top of a knight’s helmet, like the ‘crest’ of a bird. This was done for practical reasons; for his identification during battle. And so that’s why the crest sits atop of the helmet of a coat of arms.
Really Ornate Coat of Arms Mantling Example  


Taken from a desk seal, this extremely elaborate coat of arms would need to be engraved on to a ring face at least 19mm high. The decorative work either side of the shield has no heraldic significance - called mantling, it represents the knights surcoat, torn in battle!

A signet ring of this size would not normally be worn on the little finger. As with many rings depicting the full coats of arms it is more traditional, and simply more practical, to wear the larger ring on the ring finger. This is a tradition evident in continental Europe where the emphasis heraldically is placed on the coat of arms or family shield. This is contrary in the UK where the tradition is to wear the crest engraved on a smaller ring on the little finger.

This is a representation of a coat of arms depicted in a modern style. Unusually this coat of arms depicts medals hanging from the shield. A coat of arms can be drawn painted or engraved in different styles: as long as the contents (charges) of the shield are shown correctly the shape of the shield can be altered. Similarly the mantling, and style of helmet would merely represent the period of history in which it was depicted, or the style of the engraver or herald who engraved or painted the particular artwork. Particularly seal engravers working in miniature would alter the artistic flourishes to suit the size and shape of the item on which they were working. The crest on this coat of arms is a rather handsome walrus!

 
Modern style Coat of Arms Example
Blog: | 26th June 2016

Some Crest Ring Examples

A selection of heraldic crests on a variety of rings! Please enlarge the image for more details.

A modern crest engraved onto an 18ct yellow gold signet ring. The crest, consisting of a ducally gorged swan on a ladder and cap of maintenance, was supplied to us as part of a full coat of arms the whole of which was too complex to engrave onto a pinkie ring.

Find out more about the difference between a coat of arms and a crest. Or alternatively you would like to see rings engraved with other heraldic devices, such as a shield or coat of arms.
 
Swan Crest
Boars Head Seal Engraved on Bloodstone  


Bloodstone engraving by Joe Wright of a boars head family crest. This stone is set into our clients own 9 carat yellow gold vintage mount.

We do engrave clients own rings providing they are of good enough quality to withstand the seal engraving.

If you have a ring and you would like us to engrave it please email us a picture in the first instance and we can take it from there. See some gemstone crest rings


An unusual shield shaped ring here shown in 9ct white gold engraved with a royal crest depicting a lion holding a sword and staff issuing from a royal crown with the motto ‘In Defens’ beneath.

This particular royal crest is used in Scotland. If you have an idea for an unusually shaped ring we would be delighted to provide you a quotation.

Some other Lion Crest Examples.
 
Lion Staff Scottish Royal Crest
Hedgehog & book crest  

This traditional family crest is of a rather studious looking hedgehog. This unusual crest exemplifies the wide variety of heraldry out there.

Here he is engraved onto a 14 carat cushion signet ring. With most of our commissions we work with client’s artwork or we research the family name providing artwork options.
We are also delighted to engrave a crest or coat of arms from our clients imagination! Maybe there is a specific idea you might have, or you would simply like us to make suggestions?

See if we can find a crest for you. See some other Heraldic Beasts


 Related Pages:
 custom engraved rings | crest rings | get a quote



Blog by Adrian Otten on the 14th June 2016 | with Dexter Rings since 1999

Case Studies:

Desk Seal With Calligraphy
Sculpted Signet Ring
St. George Slaying The Dragon
Napoleon Crossing the Alps
Labrador Retriever Dog Signet Ring
Reproduction Carthaginian coin showing a Punic Horse
The 'Nita Desk Seal'
The 'Great Owl Desk Seal'

General Articals of Interest / Helpful:

'The Signet Ring Maker' - The craft of making a signet ring.
Colour and The Unique Beauty of Gemstones
Which is harder, 9 carat or 18 carat gold?
Finger size for your new signet ring
Choosing the ring head size

Older Articles:

Hand Engraving for American College of Heraldry
Signet Ring Repair & Creation

Dexter Seal Engraving
Studio 7 - Windmill Farm - Rolvenden - Kent - TN17 4PF - UK - Tel +44 (0) 1580 241 680 - USA: 617 418 3733
Dexter Seal Engraving Company V.A.T. Reg. No. 740 0428 72
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