Signet Medal. A medal used like a signet ring to press into molten wax to make a wax seal. Signet medals are always negative (so any wax impression would be positive) and are usually coin size and uniface. Often they are diestruck to be mounted on a ring, otherwise they would be mounted on a handle (of varying ornateness, from plain wood to carved metal or ivory). In 1874 the United States Mint struck signet medals in silver for the Order of Mutual Protection (RF-8). These were undoubtedly distributed to members who could use it for their correspondence. Signet medals could be struck from a hub (rather than a die) for the intaglio relief.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor