According to, a “gavel” is a small, wooden hammer (or mallet) used by a judge, a presiding officer of a meeting, or a chairperson at an assembly. The person who holds the gavel must strike it against a hard surface to signal for attention or order. Auctioneers can also use a gavel. By hitting a sound block, the auctioneer indicates acceptance of the final bid. But originally the term “gavel” had a different meaning.

The History Of The Term ‘Gavel’

“Gavel” comes from an Old English term “gafol” which meant “rent” or “tribute” given to landlords. Specifically, in Medieval England, if a person had no money to pay a land owner, the person could go to “land-court” and offer livestock or grain as payment. If the court found the items of equal value to the rent owed, a hammer strike sounded to show rent had been paid via the non-monetary item. Terms such as “gavel-malt” and “gavel-kind” developed to mean what type of payment had been agreed to as payment.


Over the centuries, the wooden hammer became known as a gavel, but not all gavels are shaped like a hammer. In fact, the United States Senate uses an hourglass shaped gavel without a handle in its daily procedures. This oddly-shaped, ivory gavel became customary around 1789. Over the next 165 years, this historic gavel slowly deteriorated from the persistent striking it endured. Attempts were made to preserve it, but during the 1954 Senate session, it finally cracked. The Republic of India offered a replacement, and the new replica of the original was first used on November 17, 1954. Both the original and new gavels are now kept in a mahogany box. Because of their historic significance, the gavels are secured at the adjournment of a senate session. The exceptional and irreplaceable set of gavels is placed in the Sergeant at Arms’ office for safekeeping.

The Hit Trophy Inventory Of Exceptional Gavel Sets

Black Gavel SetAt Hit Trophy, we offer some exceptional gavel sets of our own. Our latest addition is our Black Gavel Award (item #GV139). This classically designed piece is packaged as a set. It includes a 10” ebony gavel with a gold band encircling the hammer’s head. A black, wooden base that acts as a resting place for the gavel also comes with the set. The base includes a gold engraving plate which will hold up to two lines of text. Our design department will engrave this gift for free. Finally, a satin lined presentation box stylishly displays each item. Our Black Gavel Award makes an exceptional gift for any auctioneer, judge, or presiding officer of a group.

Our Stylish Brass Set

Another best-selling gavel set we have is our Brass Gavel Set (item #GV100). This exquisite set has more of a contemporary style to it. Packaged in a handsome mahogany presentation box, the set includes a solid brass gavel which is 8″ in length. The set also includes a gavel band, and our graphic designers will engrave the gavel band at no additional charge. This decorative piece will proudly be displayed for years by any lawyer, judge, or auctioneer you know.

Our Time-honored Traditional Set

Rosewood Gavel Set

For a more traditional look, we offer our Rosewood Gavel Award (item #GV138). This gorgeous gavel set comes with a wooden 10” gavel and a matching 12” base. Both are finished in a high gloss Rosewood finish. Resting on gold colored bumper pads, the base provides a gold colored engraving plate which matches the shiny gold band around the head of the gavel. This conventional award makes a grand gift for anyone who governs any group.

Our Wonderful Walnut Base Set

For a final offering, we give you two opportunities to personalize our Walnut Base & Removable Gavel set (item #735). The beautiful base constructed from American walnut has a gold engraving plate for personalization of the gift. Plus, this splendid set provides a gold engraving band to encircle the gavel’s head. Our skilled designers will engrave both engraving areas for free. Our Walnut Base & Removable Gavel gives you twice the opportunity to individualize a wonderful award for any friend of yours who works in a courtroom or at an auction.

Try Hit Trophy Today!

If you are in the market for a gorgeous gavel set as a gift, we have plenty to offer. We sell 35 different gifts that contain customized gavels. From gavel plaques to complete gavel sets, we have a gavel gift for that special person who can bring order out of chaos. Order online or speak to us directly at (419) 445-5356. Our customer’s satisfaction is our number one concern, so we always provide fast and friendly service with each order placed at Hit