I first met Dervla and Denis back in February of this year when they approached me about making their engagement ring. They were looking for a simple yet confident ring, suited to architect Dervla's aesthetic. Having done a little homework she had her heart set on a nice big deep blue sapphire and as luck would have it I was headed to one of the biggest jewellery trade fairs of the year in a matter of days. No better place to find just the stone!
With a budget in mind I spent quite a while seeking out a sapphire with the perfect balance of colour, sparkle and scale. There were phone calls to and fro describing the three front runners and numerous return visits to all three. I had mistakenly thought I could take snaps on my smart phone to help inform the decision, but flourescent lighting is no friend to photography and the results were mixed at best! Nonetheless we came to a decision between us and I returned to Ireland with nerves in my belly hoping that Dervla would love her new sapphire - happily she did and on her next trip back from London there was a silver sample ring to try. With that viewed and agreed it was time to order the metal and start work on the engagement ring proper.
As you can see it started out with just three elements, the sapphire, a length of 18ct yellow gold bar for the shank and piece of sheet from which to make the setting. First of all I made up a tapering round setting from the sheet and formed it in to an oval to match the curve of the sapphire. Next I made the 2.5mm wide shank and removed a section where the solder seam was to accommodate the oval setting - no point having more seams than necessary. The two elements were then soldered together and dropped to the assay office in Dublin city to be tested and stamped. With that accomplished it was time to clean up the ring, remove any scratches and prepolish the inside of the setting. I then created a seat for the sapphire by removing metal from the inside of the bezel and pushed the yellow gold down onto the stone to hold it. A last polish and a little directional emery applied to the shank and that was that!
Dervla and Denis were back in town last weekend and came to collect. Impressively Denis had refused to see a picture of the ring before the big day preferring to "wait until I see it on Dearbhla's finger". I'm pleased to report that they left a very happy couple and that there may or may not have been tears!