A ring that symbolises family

Atelier Torbjörn Tillander, a family-owned company, has a long tradition in the design and creation of signet and crested rings for nobility. Very few other goldsmiths in Finland possess similar knowhow, which is why we cherish this special expertise. All our signet rings are hand-crafted with the very best materials in our own workshop in central Helsinki.

When noble families have cause for celebration, such as a wedding or a family member’s coming of age, they often head to Kluuvikatu to place an order for a ring. This is no ordinary ring, but a signet ring which portrays the family crest of the noble family. For non-nobility, signet rings may be a foreign and unfamiliar concept, which is why we headed to Kluuvikatu to find out more about them.

In the small boutique on Kluuvikatu we are met by jewellery historian Mia Hillo, who is also an expert in coats-of-arms. When asked about the history of signet rings, Mia’s eyes light up: this is one of her favourite topics!

”Signet and crest rings could be seen as a posh ID, at least in their traditional sense. Signet rings have been used to seal letters and other important documents and to prove the identity of the sender. An unbroken seal also indicated that the letter has remained unopened in transit.” Mia explains. Today, signet rings are used to symbolise belonging to a family.

“In addition to wedding bands and engagement rings, signet rings are one of the most traditional pieces of jewellery” Mia continues. “They are used to celebrate different rites of passage, such as coming of age, joining the family through marriage and other life events. These rings are heavily associated with family traditions.”

While signet rings are very traditional, they don’t have to look the part! A traditional ring can be replaced with other types of jewellery – the crest can be engraved in cufflinks or a plaque that can be used as a necklace. Different materials can also bring about a modern touch – one popular model for women is a signet ring in white gold with a divided, diamond covered shank. Recently, a popular trend has been adding a curved diamond eternity ring next to the signet ring, which brings some oomph to the ensemble. The coat of arms can also be engraved on a flashier gemstone than the traditional black and blue sardonyx. “How about a purple amethyst, a yellow citrine or clear quartz?” Mia asks.

Atelier Torbjörn Tillander has been manufacturing signet rings for decades and we have a broad collection of seals in our archives. Signet rings are always manufactured as the highest level of craftsmanship, just like the rest of our jewellery. We are happy to help with any issues related to coat of arms jewellery. In other heraldic issues, we ask you to kindly turn to the Finnish House of Nobility.

You can familiarise yourself with our selection of signet rings here. We also design and manufacture bespoke models in accordance with the customer’s wishes. Welcome to Kluuvikatu – we would love to tell you more! Please note that the delivery time for signet rings is currently around 3 months.