Signet-Rings were very common, especially among persons of rank. They were sometimes wholly of metal, but often the inscription was borne by a stone set in silver or gold. As impression from the signet-ring of a monarch gave the force of a royal decree to any instrument to which it was affixed, so the delivery or transfer of it to any one gave the power of using the royal name, and created the highest office in the State (Ge 41:42; Es 3:10,12; Es 8:2; Jer 22:24; Da 6:10,13,17; comp. 1Ki 21:8). Rings, being so much employed as seals, were called טִבָּעוֹת, tabbaoth, which is derived from a root signifying to imprint;, and also to seal. They were commonly worn as ornaments on the fingers-usually on the little finger of the right hand (Ex 35:22; Lu 15:22; Jas 2:2). Such rings were anciently made of silver, gold, or bronze; sometimes the hoop was of iron, and the signet part of gold. Rings were early set with gems or other stones; and when designed for seals or signets, the gems were engraved (Ex 28:11,21). In the British Museum there are several rings, ear-rings, nose-rings, pendants, signets, beads, necklaces, bracelets, and other ornaments, from the tombs of Egypt. They are of gold, silver, bronze, iron, electrum, cornelian, jasper, porcelain, ivory, glass, emerald, etc. Some of the signets are set with amulets or scarabeei, and bear the prenomen of Thotmes III. There are finger-rings, some in open work, with figures of deities, etc.; and on the faces of some the prenomen of Amenophis III; on others, the names of Amentuonk, Amounra, etc. Among the Egyptian antiquities in the possession of Dr, Abbot, English resident physician at Cairo, is the well authenticated signet-ring of Cheops. It is, perhaps, the oldest article of the kind in the world, and is of fine gold, weighing nearly three severeigns, and bearing the name of Shfiffi, the Suphis of Manetho, and the Cheops of the Greeks. This precious relic of the. age of the founder of the Great Pyramid is in the highest state of preservation. The style of the hieroglyphics is in perfect accordance with those in the tombs about the Great Pyramid, and all the details are minutely attended to and. beautifully executed. It was found in a tomb near the .pyramids of el-Gizeh. One of the largest signets seen by Wilkinson contained twenty pound' worth of gold. It consisted of a massive ring, half an inch in its largest diameter, bearing an oblong plinth, on which the devices were engraved, one inch long, six tenths in its greatest, and four tenths in its smallest breadth. On one face was the name of king Horus, of the eighteenth dynasty; on the second a lion, with the legend "Lord of strength," referring to the monarch; on the third side a scorpion; and on the fourth a crocodile (Anc. Egypt. ii, 337). SEE SEAL.

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