My Favorite Things 004

My Signet Ring with Frank’s Initials

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A couple of years ago, I had a signet ring made with Frank’s initials on it.  Frank Thomas Gaglione [FGT] with a big G in the middle.  He had given me a signet ring back in the 60’s when he got married, and somehow I lost it, but it never stopped being one of my favorite things – so I replaced it.

It’s been a few years now that Frank has been gone, and I still find it hard to write about him without getting emotional.  There is no one I miss more.  And while family is a gift to be loved and nurtured, a friendship is to be truly treasured.

Frank and I were best friends for 50 years.  We use to say we were like brothers, but, after what I’ve seen of brothers, I prefer to say we were the best of friends.

I was looking for a pithy quote on friendship, but nothing seemed to resonate with the friendship Frank and I shared.  Frankly, we fought more than anything.  When I look back to all the moments that defined our friendship, more often than not it’s us fighting about something.  But, through it all, no one looked after me more – and vice versa.

So, when it comes to friendship, I’d have to say that my time with Frank is, to me, the very definition of friendship.  We fought, we laughed, we conspired, and we often disappointed each other, but we always looked after each other.  We won and we lost together.  I certainly could have lost on my own, but I could never have won without him.

Modern History of Signet Ring – How it got its existence?
Written by Jason Phillips

Modern signet rings are purely decorative, but in historical times, these rings played an important role.  Today, people buy a signet ring because it’s a distinctive piece of jewelry that expresses them personally.  They might not even realize that they’re carrying on a long tradition. T he history of signet rings is lengthy and illustrious.

How signet rings were used
In historical times, signet rings were often quite beautiful, but they were more than that – they had an important role in society.  These rings were developed as an identification mark.  Rather than signing their name on a document, people would use a signet ring to make their mark.  The ring would be pressed into hot wax or soft clay, and would leave a distinctive impression that functioned as an official seal.

Used by rulers and religious leaders, a signet ring could be used to mark a document, a doorway, or even to seal a tomb.  When someone saw the mark of the king, it proved authenticity.  The seal could not be opened without damaging the identifying mark, making it difficult to tamper with.  Because of how they were used, these rings are also known as seal rings.

Ring designs featured an identifiable mark of the person wearing it.  Often this was a coat of arms or family crest.  Because the ring was intended to leave an impression, the ring maker needed to create the design in mirror image on the ring.  This way, the finished impression would come out correctly.

As far back as 3500 BC, people in Mesopotamia began using signet seals.  These were usually cylindrical devices that would be rolled across wet clay, leaving a distinctive impression.  They sealed jars and packages this way.  In ancient Egypt, pharaohs and nobles used signet rings made of stone or a blue pottery called faience.  These rings were flat on one side, with an ornately inscribed design with symbols and hieroglyphic writing.

The Bible also contains references to signet rings.  The Old Testament tells the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.  The king closed the mouth of the den, and then sealed it with his signet ring and those of his nobles, so that Daniel could not escape. (Daniel 6:17)

In medieval times, important people used signet rings to sign and seal their letters.  This proved that they were authentic, and prevented forgeries and tampering.  Soon, all important legal documents had to be stamped with a signet ring.  During the fourteenth century and the reign of England’s King Edward II, it was established that all official government documents had to bear the seal of the king’s signet ring.

Legitimate signet rings were very rare.  A king wouldn’t copies of his ring in circulation, which could be used for fraudulent purposes.  Also, rings were often destroyed when their wearer died.  Authentic antique signet rings are rare and valuable.

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