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

It is legitimate we really like symbolism and personalizing our jewellery. There are several strategies to do so, and signet rings have usually played their section. The environment has a newfound like for them as trends acquire and our fondness for dedicated or customized jewellery grows. Rebus is a enterprise specializing in signet rings and cufflinks. I sat down with Emmet Smith conversing about his beautiful business.

I have been working in the jewelry trade due to the fact 1986. My to start with foray into the trade was at the Sir John Cass School of Artwork in Whitechapel, where by I spent a 12 months studying jewelry style and design and generating, stone location, silversmithing, and hand engraving.

Emmeth Smith, REBUS

I quickly fell in like with hand engraving I would fully get rid of myself in a miniature planet I could generate. I then begun a 5-yr apprenticeship with a firm in Hatton Garden known as R.H. Wilkins. Minimal did I know then I would go on to invest in that company twelve decades later on.


”I started Rebus in 2005, largely due to the stress of getting sent lousy-top quality signet rings to do the job on”


Also, RH Wilkins was a B2B business. Acquiring a workshop of exceptionally talented engravers, I wanted to encourage the art of hand engraving straight to the consumer who wears our jewellery. 

Rebus, a B2C jewellery model, authorized me to do just that. All my group enjoys working intently with our buyers to make definitely imaginative artworks that we then seal and engrave into the piece of Rebus jewellery we have established for them. Just about every customer in the shop is invited to our workshop, where by they meet up with the craftspeople building their jewelry. They are usually quite intrigued in the engraving approach and are surprised at the element that can be accomplished with just small handheld chisels (gravers).

This direct call with the consumer gives me (particularly as I spent two a long time in an out-of-sight workshop) and my staff a large amount of satisfaction. 

We have quite a big workforce for an unbiased jewelry enterprise. The workshop is underneath the retail outlet. Right here we make and seal engrave the signet rings and other jewelry pieces. We have eight engravers, one of which is however serving her apprenticeship. The apprenticeship lasts 4-5 a long time, based on age and preceding practical experience. Our livery organization, The Goldsmiths Corridor, indentures our apprentices and presents them and us lots of assistance. The jewellery trade is a small, incredibly supportive market comprehensive of expert craftsmen and artists.

We also have an in-house creation office and a revenue and style team that performs with our customers to flush out their strategies and give sketches.

Rachel, one particular of the profits crew, and a person of the engravers take what we do on the road to the US, wherever we established up trunk shows in lodges. They ended up off to LA and West Hollywood in June and took appointments at The London Lodge.   

I currently devote a great deal of time living in Crete and have obtained two dogs, a border collie (Kenny) and a mixed-breed shepherd puppy (Dolly). Both pet dogs were deserted Dolly have to have been 2-3 months outdated when I discovered her in an olive grove. Kenny was somewhere around a yr previous when I found him running all around a mountain highway. I suspect he escaped from his past owner. Regrettably, in rural areas, the canines are left tied up in olive groves or fields unwanted puppies are typically discarded. 

This story is from Matthew Hart, 1 of our grasp engravers who is accompanying Rachel on the US trunk exhibit, who experienced his puppy engraved on his possess signet ring:

My mom experienced a fox terrier as a youngster and generally preferred a different. So one particular working day, we uncovered some fox terrier puppies for sale. Straight away, we observed Ted and experienced to have him. We named him ‘Ted’ because (other than searching 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 particular I made a signet ring in memory of my father. 

This is my personal version of a mourning ring in the spirit of Momento Mori (I presently have yet another 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 determined to style a signet ring in his memory that I could don everyday and bear in mind him.

The form is a larger edition of the Rebus Marquise, it is produced from 18K yellow gold, and I have made use of vitreous white and green/grey enamel.

On a single shoulder, I carved an ear. I took this concept soon after traveling to a museum in Berlin, in which there is a everlasting ancient Egyptian exhibition. I discovered the Egyptians’ use of the ear as an icon was popular in their artwork, wall carvings, and worn as amulets. These listening to or ‘Sacred Ears’ had been carved into walls of temples so that individuals would have the ear of their deity, to share a concept with the gods and goddess.

The symbolism of ear amulets is not normally properly recognized, but I like the edition that it signifies a person and is so linked to that particular person. I at times hum a tune or say a handful of text into ‘his ear’ it is a comfort for me. Not to point out it would enchantment to my Dad’s sense of humor and helps make me chuckle from time to time.

I chose white enamel on the best area, as used in regular Victorian memento mori jewelry. Inside of the white enamel are raised gold letters that say ‘Not by Terms.’ I was a little bit of a tearaway, but he would usually give me a hug in instances of hassle. He didn’t require to say a term they were being unnecessary. The section also is portion of the Latin motto where by I took the title Rebus from ‘Non verbis, sed Rebus,’ not by phrases but by strategies or pictures.

In the heart of the ring is a dark eco-friendly colored enamel, which references Ireland Dad was a really very pleased Irishman. The use of white enamel all around inexperienced presents the signet ring an overall look of an eye, a good quality that was not planned, but I have usually loved stunning problems.

Beneath the green enamel is an engraved graphic of a door. Soon after Father died, I found a person of his notebooks. His initial and only entry was a sonnet he copied, which he may perhaps have examine from 1 of his textbooks. At the stop of the sonnet, he wrote it was a single of the most lovely poems he had go through. It is termed:

When I am useless and laid at previous to rest by Gamel Woolsey

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

Our two hearts engraved into the doorway will need no explanation.

I wear this ring every single working day. I’m not finished yet. I have one more shoulder I could carve a person working day, and I strategy to place a information within the shank. He beloved Neil Young, so probably a line from just one of his beloved tunes.

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

Gail and Sophie gifted every single other a ring with their canines on it. Created and built by Rebus


Unquestionably sure, our stone setter fosters rescue canines and consistently provides them in. Also, Kate from the gross sales team once in a while walks her canine to operate. So, we have two upstairs on situation and 1 downstairs. The Rebus retailer is located on a current market highway (Leather Lane, in central London) that is properly identified for its magnificent meals stalls. I bet the puppies really like coming to work!


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