These days, men are starting to feel more comfortable about taking risks with their sartorial choices (say, making the giant leap from solids to shadow plaids, or buying their shirts from Gilt Groupe), and new frontiers can sometimes bring them to scary places. Like the barren world of men's jewelry, where believe it or not, a custom signet ring engraved with a stag's head is nigh impossible to find, laments the Times.
An equities trader in Manhattan who was born and raised in Germany, Mr. von Brand, 26, had outgrown a small gold signet ring set with a deep-green bloodstone. He wanted something bigger, in plain gold, on which he could have engraved his family’s coat of arms, couped stag’s head shield, antlered crest and all. He poked around New York stores but found nothing he really liked or that wouldn’t empty his bank account. Moving online, he perused various sites, but couldn’t muster enough confidence in any site to click.
After weeks of tiresome Internet surfing, which at times became such a drag that he nearly abandoned his search, Mr. von Brand achieved success:
Then he clicked on the site for Dexter Seal Engraving in Kent, England, and found what he was looking for. Having for decades done custom engraving for the jewelry trade, Dexter began its online business in 1999, largely to create custom signet rings. And — well, wow. The options boggle the mind; the rings alone come in five shapes, six sizes and eight kinds of gold (along with silver, titanium and platinum). There are more than a dozen fonts for monogramming; scores of university, military, fraternal and religious emblems; dozens of crests and coats of arms. Most charmingly, there is an array of heraldic beasts: lions passant, dragons rampant, griffins segreant and more. (If you provide the artwork, you can even get a puggle sleepant or a Labradoodle diggant.)
And to think, you had almost given up on finding a Christmas present for your boyfriend!