REBUS creates handcrafted signet rings and shares why these rings are so personal

It is legitimate we adore symbolism and personalizing our jewellery. There are many methods to do so, and signet rings have usually performed their section. The earth has a newfound appreciate for them as tendencies build and our fondness for dedicated or personalized jewellery grows. Rebus is a firm specializing in signet rings and cufflinks. I sat down with Emmet Smith talking about his charming firm.

I have been performing in the jewellery trade considering that 1986. My initial foray into the trade was at the Sir John Cass School of Art in Whitechapel, wherever I expended a year finding out jewellery style and producing, stone setting, silversmithing, and hand engraving.

Emmeth Smith, REBUS

I immediately fell in love with hand engraving I would wholly eliminate myself in a miniature environment I could produce. I then started off a 5-year apprenticeship with a enterprise in Hatton Backyard termed R.H. Wilkins. Minimal did I know then I would go on to invest in that organization twelve years afterwards.


”I commenced Rebus in 2005, predominantly thanks to the disappointment of remaining sent very poor-quality signet rings to perform on”


Also, RH Wilkins was a B2B organization. Acquiring a workshop of really proficient engravers, I desired to boost the art of hand engraving straight to the customer who wears our jewellery. 

Rebus, a B2C jewellery brand name, permitted me to do just that. All my crew enjoys operating closely with our clients to develop definitely imaginative artworks that we then seal and engrave into the piece of Rebus jewelry we have established for them. Each consumer in the retailer is invited to our workshop, exactly where they meet up with the craftspeople making their jewellery. They are generally extremely interested in the engraving method and are stunned at the element that can be obtained with just modest handheld chisels (gravers).

This immediate speak to with the client provides me (specifically as I expended two decades in an out-of-sight workshop) and my workforce a great deal of pleasure. 

We have very a huge workforce for an unbiased jewelry firm. The workshop is beneath the retailer. Listed here we make and seal engrave the signet rings and other jewellery parts. We have 8 engravers, a single of which is even now serving her apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts 4-5 years, relying on age and past expertise. Our livery firm, The Goldsmiths Corridor, indentures our apprentices and presents them and us heaps of assist. The jewelry trade is a tiny, beautifully supportive sector full of skilled craftsmen and artists.

We also have an in-household creation department and a gross sales and design and style workforce that operates with our shoppers to flush out their thoughts and give sketches.

Rachel, one of the gross sales group, and a single of the engravers consider what we do on the highway to the US, where by we established up trunk demonstrates in lodges. They were being off to LA and West Hollywood in June and took appointments at The London Hotel.   

I at present spend a large amount of time living in Crete and have obtained two canine, a border collie (Kenny) and a combined-breed shepherd dog (Dolly). The two canines were deserted Dolly have to have been 2-3 months outdated when I located her in an olive grove. Kenny was somewhere around a year outdated when I identified him running around a mountain highway. I suspect he escaped from his preceding proprietor. Unfortunately, in rural spots, the pet dogs are still left tied up in olive groves or fields undesired puppies are normally discarded. 

This tale is from Matthew Hart, a person of our grasp engravers who is accompanying Rachel on the US trunk present, who had his pet engraved on his have signet ring:

My mom experienced a fox terrier as a child and often desired yet another. So a single working day, we discovered some fox terrier puppies for sale. Straight absent, we observed Ted and had to have him. We named him ‘Ted’ for the reason that (other than on the lookout like a teddy bear), I was seeing a lot of Father Ted at the time, and it was between Ted or Doogle. Ted is now 6.

Signet Rings are quite personal I made a signet ring in memory of my father. 

This is my personalized variation of a mourning ring in the spirit of Momento Mori (I by now have a further signet ring that has the motto Momento Vivere ‘remember to live’ engraved into it). My father, Philip Smith (aka Dickie, Detsy, the Captain), died in 2019, and I made a decision to design a signet ring in his memory that I could put on day-to-day and try to remember him.

The form is a greater version of the Rebus Marquise, it is built from 18K yellow gold, and I have utilized vitreous white and inexperienced/gray enamel.

On just one shoulder, I carved an ear. I took this strategy soon after traveling to a museum in Berlin, exactly where there is a long-lasting historic Egyptian exhibition. I uncovered the Egyptians’ use of the ear as an icon was popular in their artwork, wall carvings, and worn as amulets. These hearing or ‘Sacred Ears’ ended up carved into partitions of temples so that people today would have the ear of their deity, to share a information with the gods and goddess.

The symbolism of ear amulets is not often nicely recognized, but I like the variation that it represents a individual and is thus linked to that man or woman. I once in a while hum a tune or say a couple words and phrases into ‘his ear’ it is a comfort and ease for me. Not to point out it would charm to my Dad’s perception of humor and would make me chuckle often.

I selected white enamel on the top area, as utilised in conventional Victorian memento mori jewellery. Within just the white enamel are elevated gold letters that say ‘Not by Words and phrases.’ I was a little bit of a tearaway, but he would often give me a hug in times of hassle. He did not want to say a word they ended up avoidable. The phase also is part of the Latin motto in which I took the name Rebus from ‘Non verbis, sed Rebus,’ not by terms but by strategies or visuals.

In the centre of the ring is a dark green colored enamel, which references Ireland Dad was a pretty happy Irishman. The use of white enamel close to inexperienced offers the signet ring an visual appearance of an eye, a high quality that was not prepared, but I’ve usually cherished attractive blunders.

Under the inexperienced enamel is an engraved graphic of a doorway. Just after Father died, I found one of his notebooks. His initial and only entry was a sonnet he copied, which he may possibly have read from just one of his textbooks. At the conclude of the sonnet, he wrote it was 1 of the most wonderful poems he had read. It is called:

When I am lifeless and laid at last to rest by Gamel Woolsey

There is a line: ‘As air that quickens at the opened doorway,’ which struck a chord with me, and of system, the graphic of a door is a effective image and metaphor.

Our two hearts engraved into the door have to have no clarification.

I have on this ring every working day. I’m not completed but. I have another shoulder I could carve a person day, and I approach to put a information inside of the shank. He beloved Neil Younger, so it’s possible a line from one of his preferred tracks.

This signet ring is a reminder, a interaction, and a tribute to our adore. Father and son.

Gail and Sophie gifted each other a ring with their canine on it. Intended and designed by Rebus


Unquestionably certainly, our stone setter fosters rescue canine and regularly provides them in. Also, Kate from the income team from time to time walks her canines to function. So, we have two upstairs on occasion and one particular downstairs. The Rebus store is situated on a market place road (Leather Lane, in central London) that is nicely recognized for its gorgeous foods stalls. I bet the pet dogs adore coming to get the job done!


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