Sometimes the path to creating a Rebus signet ring can begin long before a customer finds their way to our doors. Across many years and many miles, from our workshop in London's Hatton Garden to New York's West Village, Grace Clarke's signet story is one such journey.

"The first time I saw someone buy themselves jewelry was Hanya Yanagihara, then my editor at Town & Country Magazine, to commemorate publishing her first novel. I thought, when the time is right, I will do the same. A decade later, my business turned one, so I bought a watch. When it turned two, it was time for the ring.”

While some come to Rebus with a fully-fledged idea for their engraved signets, others need a little more time to consider and ensure their vision is just right. Together with our team of consultants, Grace worked through many iterations for the design of her ring - from monogrammed initials, flowers, and birds - before a butterfly emerged from the chrysalis of decision-making.

“It took two years to finalize the design. Rebus could not have been more gracious. I'm glad it took so long because in that time, I realized I want to keep evolving - what a gift! A butterfly.”

What does a butterfly symbolise?

A popular motif, the butterfly is a beautiful symbol of change and transformation for different cultures across the world.

For many Native American tribes, the butterfly is a means of communication with ancestors; their presence is seen as sign of hope, positivity, and connection with loved ones.

In Celtic mythology, the butterfly is believed to be an embodiment of the soul. As the Irish saying goes, 'butterflies are souls of the dead waiting to pass through Purgatory.' Possessing an ability to cross realms between the living and the dead, they have come to symbolise creation and rebirth.

Along the way to finalising her design, Grace considered using a rooster, as well as a motif that intertwined her initial G with carnations, the unofficial flower of NYC delis.

What do carnations symbolise?

As well as this nod to the New York City bodega, the carnation is also the birth flower for those born in January, and has been used as a powerful symbol from the Ancient Greeks through to the modern day.

Known as dianthus or divine flower, the carnation is native to Greece. Some believe its name derives from the Greek words for Zeus and flower, which translate as dios and anthos. Others suggest the name originates from the myth of Diana, goddess of the hunt. She blamed a failed hunt on the lute-playing of a nearby shepherd and plucked his eyes out in rage; they fell to the ground and grew into red carnations. Whatever the etymology, these ‘flowers of the gods’, come in a number of colours each with different meanings. Pink carnations are a symbol of gratitude and affection, and are the official flower of Mother’s Day, while red represents true love, and white is seen as symbolic of purity and luck.

What does a rooster symbolise?

The rooster is said to represent fidelity and punctuality on account of its daily crowing. Ushering in the dawn, this bird promises a fresh start with each new day.

In Chinese astrology, it is a strong, auspicious symbol, to awaken and lead us out of the darkness. Those born in the Year of the Rooster - the next in 2029 - are said to be devoted and capable; they are deep thinkers and make excellent leaders.

Interested in designing a piece to reflect your own symbols of strength? Get in touch at or book an appointment at our Hatton Garden workshop or via Zoom for a private consultation.