Many pieces of jewellery have been personalised in some way. By personalised, I mean that the jewellery item has been designed in such a way or has been altered so that it identifies an individual. It might, for instance, have the owner’s initials, be sentimental with an inscription about a person’s death or indicating love, or have names spelt out in gemstones. Sometimes, particularly on signet rings, seals and fobs, armorial arms and family crests may be used. The personalisation may have been arranged by you, the owner, or by the person giving the jewellery.

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Antique locket with initials in seed pearls

Using your initials is probably the most common type of personalised jewellery. They may be on a signet ring –

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Signet ring with initials

or on a pendant –

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Antique locket with initials

On antique jewellery, initials are inscribed using fonts like cursive, Old English, and Gothic – styles based on handwritten writing, some with thick and thin strokes, some in italics.

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Gold pin with initials

Of course, not all initials on a piece of jewellery are those of a person. In mourning jewellery, you might find initials such as IMO (in Memory of) or AEI (Amity, Eternity and Infinity).

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“In memory of” initials on Whitby jet pendant (in Navette on Ruby Lane)

Next week, I’ll talk about different types of personalisation.