The Wicklow Chief


27th September 2019

This ring was created to celebrate the Irish heritage of my customer. Many of the symbols used in the design were from the gravesite of Michael Dwyer, the Wicklow Chief, from whom my customer is a direct descendant.

You can read more about the life of the Irishman at the Taphophile Tragics blog. The photo above was taken by Julie who is also the author of the blog post..

From something old comes something new

The jewellery to be recycled

The jewellery to be recycled

To make the ring we had an assortment of jewellery that my customer no longer wore. As with all jobs that involve recycling old jewellery there is a fair bit more work involved when compared to using all new materials so there has to be a cost benefit.

Article: Recycling jewellery: Cost benefit analysis

Article: Recycling old jewellery

The key symbols

The major symbols to be used.

The major symbols to be used.

If you have read the information on the Taphophile Tragics blog you will realise the significance of the number 98. The cross, some sort of celtic knot and the harp were all features we would use in the design.

The design

The first picture above is of the design as we near the final stages of it’s creation. The second photo shows us finalising the use of the all important number 98 in the ring.

The final photo is of the sapphire we used as the main gem and some diamonds that we used in the shoulders below the harp. All of these were recycled from the same unwanted ring.

Getting the finger size right

The size draft after being resized to determine the correct size.

The size draft after being resized to determine the correct size.

With some designs even making a rough draft adds way too much cost to the piece. This customer was more than happy to trust the design as laid out in the graphics.

We planned from the start to make a draft that imitated the impression of the inside of the ring on the finger to confirm the finger size rather than a more time consuming full version.

You can read in this article why this is important: Why you should avoid resizing a new ring

Luckily we did as this design needed to be made several sizes larger than originally planned to fit perfectly on the customer’s finger.

The finished ring

This ring was made in 18ct yellow and white gold and weighs 13.6 grams. The main sapphire is a 7.2mm x 5.5mm oval cut. The diamonds come to a total diamond weight of .24 carats.

The only materials that I supplied for this remodel were the 12 small diamonds that make up the cross halo. All unused materials were returned to the customer.

Thank you very much to this customer for firstly designing and making the ring with me and secondly for allowing me to share it with you.

Design, Remodel, RingsDavid Taylor