Sunday, 10 March 2019

George's sea glass ring commission using heirloom jewellery πŸ’

The commission

As a beautiful gesture to his fiancΓ©e-to-be, George was keen to re-use the gold and the diamonds from an 18ct gold sapphire and diamond ring his mother had cherished and loved, and then given to him.
He commissioned Glasswing Jewellery to make an engagement ring incorporating the materials from his mum’s ring, and some beautiful light olive green sea glass he’d found beachcombing. Customers often send me sea glass they've found that has such lovely sentimental value, picked up on a favourite beach, or on a special holiday, and which they would like set into jewellery and precious bridal rings.

Remodelling.....a long jewellery tradition πŸ’πŸ’Ž

Recycling gold and gems from existing jewellery has been going on for millennia, understandably so, as they are some of the most valuable and enduring materials on the planet! As we know, the royal family does it all the time, (think Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge's sapphire earrings re-modelled from her late mother-in-law's earrings).
  The process....                                         Recovering the stones                            Preparing to melt the gold

Setting sentimental but non-precious materials like hair, shell and even teeth into jewellery is also a long tradition, something that became hugely popular in Victorian times in mourning jewellery, and I see Glasswing continuing this tradition when I make these pieces using sea glass for my customers.

George sent me the gypsy set, blue sapphire and diamond three stone ring, in the most beautiful, tiny vintage leather ring box with a pale olive green velvet interior, along with a selection of carefully wrapped sea glass he had cafefully numbered #1 to #5 in order of his preference. Piece #1 is a gorgeous pale green, a perfect match for the velvet inside the box!

Keeping loved ones close πŸ’•

Jewellery that is ‘of its time’ or was once for a purpose that’s no longer current, can become beautiful updated pieces to continue to cherish.  Reusing the materials in new designs is such a wonderful way to keep our loved ones' most valued things close to us, to honour our past, and those who have cared for us.

Shaping the glass

Ethical choice πŸ’š

Of course, it also means we don’t have to use more precious raw materials from the earth than we strictly need to.
Along with choosing Fairtrade metals and gems, which helps change the lives of artisan mineworkers all over the world, and buying recycled materials which helps to raise environmental awareness and re-use already-mined materials, remodelling heirlooms such as George mum's ring, is another piece of the jigsaw in an effort to avoid further environmental damage, that jewellers are doing increasingly. It's something that's taking off amongst couples looking to buy engagement and wedding rings, and it's a trend that is helping to make the jewellery industry more sustainable and accountable.

 The new ring takes shape                                 Making the settings                                     Setting the stones

For the new ring, I cut and shaped the glass, and then the stones were removed from the original ring, and the gold melted down. Once milled, the gold was used to make the sea glass triple ring, bezel setting the green sea glass within the tapered settings, with the two diamonds from George’s ring either side

A sustainable heirloom to cherish 🌎

When I first started making jewellery, environmental and ethical concerns were considered very niche indeed. The whole industry has definitely come a long way!   
More and more couples are questioning the provenance of the things they buy, and considering the environmental and social, as well as ethical impact that their buying choices for their weddings will have, from the invites and the menu, to the clothes, food, the venue, and of course, the rings they will wear for many years to come.

George's gorgeous vintage ring box

George proposed in Canada over Christmas!

"Hi Kate,  Ring received and looking stunning. 
Thank you so much for your amazing work and for sending everything back 
so neatly - really appreciate it.....  absolutely thrilled how it's come out and I know she will love it. ......George"