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I own a copy of another Debrett's book, "Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette & Modern Manners" written by John Morgan. Its a good book but unfortunately incomplete. A lot of things have been left out, for instance tha fact that a signet ring is not be worn on the little finger of the left hand, that it should be made of gold, and if the wearer is an English armiger it should only feature the crest and not the full armorial achievement... Information on which ties should be worn and which not, aswell as shirt colours etc... Would be really useful for many people out there! (Think Little Italy guy dressed in a black suit with a black shirt and a black tie... :crazy: )
 

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A lot of things have been left out, for instance tha fact that a signet ring is not be worn on the little finger of the left hand, that it should be made of gold, and if the wearer is an English armiger it should only feature the crest and not the full armorial achievement...
Many purists would say that a signet ring should have neither crest nor achivement but the shield only. That is, after all, the real heart of the matter: the arms, correctly differentiated, state exactly who one is.

The common practice of the 'crest ring' stems from big-******* having their desire to impress satisfied by engravers with a copy of Fairbairn's Book of crests of the families of Great Britain and Ireland. As with modern bucket shop vendors, customers were often fitted up with a crest from the book sharing the same surname as their own. Many were, of course, not entitled to pass off the crest as their own.
 

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Many purists would say that a signet ring should have neither crest nor achivement but the shield only. That is, after all, the real heart of the matter: the arms, correctly differentiated, state exactly who one is.

The common practice of the 'crest ring' stems from big-******* having their desire to impress satisfied by engravers with a copy of Fairbairn's Heraldic crests.
When i used to reside in Germany my signet ring featured my shield and coronet as it is the custom there. However upon moving to England and registering my arms with the College of Arms (Request them to be recognized and Re-Granted more exactly) i was told that the custom in England was to engrave the crest and wreath and so far every other armiger or nobleman that i have met seems to have done the same.
 

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When i used to reside in Germany my signet ring featured my shield and coronet as it is the custom there. However upon moving to England and registering my arms with the College of Arms (Request them to be recognized and Re-Granted more exactly) i was told that the custom in England was to engrave the crest and wreath and so far every other armiger or nobleman that i have met seems to have done the same.
It has indeed become the custom since Victorian times (Fairbairn published his book in 1859). Nevertheless, many heralds hold that the shield is the correct form. That said, the crest and wreath often make for a more asthetically pleasing ring. Then there are those that engrave their badge, such as the Prince of Wales, but a badge is more properly worn by followers.

I would be very interested in hearing about the process of having your English arms granted (based upon European arms).
 

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It takes some time and can be a bit complicated. I had to show them several pedigrees as i am entitled to two different arms, eventually the new arms featured the crest and wreath of the arms which i inherited through the oldest branch of my family (Its pretty complicated, i couldn't explain this on here without revealing my identity) then we took elements from both shields and ended up with a per pale shield. We altered the helmet, and of course i lost the coronet and any title claims. I am now an Esquire as it is the proper form for a foreign nobleman or armiger. Since i am now a Subject of the Crown, my grant is not honorary. I was quite surprised because my motto was not mentioned in the Letter Patent, when i asked they told me that in England mottoes were not regulated.
 

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I'm sorry, that would be revealing my identity, plus i am sure at least a few people would recognize it and i don't want that. Sorry :)
Fair enough, although I would say that barely one in 10,000 or more would be able to interpret a blazon and even less associate it with a name. What is the purpose of arms if not to proclaim one's identity?
 

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Well, it is the reminder of one's family history. It is not just a sign of gentle birth, it is a reminder of what our ancestors have done and accomplished.
Not always; the son of ten generations of chimney sweeps who, by his own efforts, becomes an "eminent man" and is granted arms will not display them as a sign of his ancestors' accomplishments or his gentle birth. However, raised to the status of gentleman, he and his descendants may display the arms to proclaim his / their status as gentry.
 

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