Bespoke 70th Birthday Jewellery

I wanted to share with you an in-depth look behind a bespoke piece of jewellery...

The Story

Recently, I had the pleasure of creating this absolutely beautiful ring to celebrate a 70th birthday. This ring was to be a surprise gift for the recipient. They wanted a piece to represent her 3 daughters, the mother (the recipient), her favourite colour and a nod to her Irish heritage.

They needed this piece to be super special to mark such a big occasion so we set to work.

A tilted view of the Emerald & Topaz hanmade ring in natural daylight
Another close up view of the vintage Emerald and white topaz granulation wishbone ring

Firstly we discussed gemstones. Her birthstone is Ruby for July but we preferred to include her favourite colour green. After listing the possible options for green feature stones they settled on Emerald. But not just any Emerald, instead it was a vintage 1980s cut, Emerald. They loved the idea of including a little bit of history in the piece. As well as the sustainability factor, considering this gemstone would be paired with recycled precious metals.

For the representation of her 3 daughters, we opted for beautiful White Topaz. It has such a beautiful sparkle without overshadowing the feature gemstone.

We went for the classic wishbone shape to the ring and included 9ct Rose Gold Granulation to create a beautiful contrast against the sterling silver. The gold, white and green ended up as a little token of her Irish heritage which is just simply a lovely touch.

To the outside world, this piece simply looks like a beautiful piece of jewellery, but to the recipient, it is so much more. It is steeped in so much sentimental meaning and thought that it will be a treasured heirloom within her collection for many years to come.

The Production

As a designer, there were a few challenges with this piece. The design meant multiple solder joins pretty close together. There is always a risk of melting and reopening of joins when you are soldering close to others. So that was something to take into account. Then there was the granulation of adding the silver and 9ct Rose Gold balls. They were the last to be soldered onto the ring I am pretty sure there is still rogue gold ball rolling about in my workshop somewhere!

A top view of the ring in progress with the granulation and settings after soldering
The polished un set ring on a bench peg ready for the gemstones to be set into place

The stone setting itself was a little trickier than usual. The 1980s Emerald had a more rounded bottom so cutting the seat for it was a little more complex than newer calibrated stones. The 3 Topaz stones are quite close together so I needed a little more dexterity when pushing the metal over the edge of the stone.

Even with these little challenges it was one of those makes when you finish the final polish and just go WOW! It was exactly everything it needed to be.

This piece was hallmarked at the London Assay office and includes part marks for the gold too.

The Reveal

The recipient of this beautiful keepsake was so over the moon with the piece, there were tears (of joy of course). As a final added touch the original design sketch with all my little side notes was also gifted alongside the ring.

I will always feel so honoured to be a part of creating such meaningful jewellery for my clients and their loved ones. I love hearing the stories behind the pieces and knowing that there is a little story with each and every piece. 

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Thank you, Shell x



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