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Mother and Daughter Memorial Rings

Jo and her mum wanted memorial rings made with the ashes of Jo’s dad. They booked a Saturday consultation with Louise at our Shaftesbury Design Studio to talk about their ideas.

Jo was keen to have a silver signet ring and he mum wanted some family gold made into a new ring, they both wanted these rings for their little fingers. Jo had very slender hands, and her mum was suffering with arthritis, so we needed to get both finger sizes correct.

Louise talked through different options and ideas, Jo was keen to have a bright pink colour with some pink glitter in her silver ring, and she wanted to be able to see her fathers ashes. There was a family diamond that Jo wanted set into the middle of her signet-style ring, with ashes around the outside. Jo chose a wax copy that we had of a delicate signet ring that we affectionately call ‘the cow ring’ because of the cow that is etched onto the front. Jo wanted this style of signet ring in silver but without the cow!

Her mum was a little unsure of exactly what she wanted. She had brought some family gold and some very sentimental rings that her late husband had bought for her. One ring had an opal set into it, Louise suggested re-using this opal in her memorial ring. Opal is her birthstone. They looked through different styles of rings and decided on a wishbone design with a heart shaped recess in the top. One of their family rings had three diamonds set into it, Louise suggested flush setting one either side of the heart.

We 3D printed a wax copy of the wishbone ring from our CAD file to be able to cast this with their family gold. CAD is a computer programme that allows us to design jewellery and then 3D print waxes to cast from. Louise designed this ring to be oval in shape (left to right) so that it would squeeze over her arthritic knuckle and then not swing around on her finger when being worn.

The first job was to unset the gemstones from their family rings. There was a large oval cubic zirconia that was very scratched, this wouldn’t be used in either ring. Mark carefully unset the diamond that was going into Jo’s silver signet ring, and all three of the smaller diamonds that were going into her mums wishbone ring, the third diamond from this band was returned to them.

Now that we had all of their family gold ready, we could cast the wishbone ring using Lost Wax Casting.

You can see that there is a slight texture to the freshly cast gold, this needs filing smooth and then polishing to a high shine. Once this ring was shiny, it was time to set the diamonds into it, you can see the black dots below, this is where Louise wanted Marcelo to flush set their diamonds.

We cast Jo’s ring in new silver, and Mark handmade the setting for her diamond, and an outer edge to contain the resin and ashes. He then rubover-set her diamond into its new home.

Jo’s mum wanted the opal from her late husband crushed up into small pieces, she then wanted us to supply some lilac opal as purple is her favourite colour. She wanted this opal mixed in with ashes and then hand placed in clear resin into the heart shaped setting.

This gives a really lovely effect, you can see every colour shining in the crushed opal, and if you look closely you can see the ashes, but they aren’t obvious at first glance.

Jo had chosen the colour ‘Prima Donna’ as she loved bright pink, coincidentally, this was a childhood nickname that her father had for her. Sam mixed her chosen colour with clear resin and created a base layer of bright pink for Jo’s fathers ashes to be hand placed onto.

Sam builds up thin layers and cures each one under ultrasonic light until she is happy with the density of the colour.

You can see Sam respectfully and individually hand placing ashes on top of the pink base layer. She uses the very finest of sewing needles to do this with exacting precision. Sam added a layer of ‘Pink Reflect’ glitter with her pin and cured the ring again, before finishing with a top coat of clear, and then two coats of varnish.

Both rings were left in our safe which is a dark and dust free environment for seven days before they could be collected.

You can see Jo’s mums finished memorial ring below. This has been cast with their own family gold, and set with her sentimental diamonds. It holds her late husbands ashes with a crushed opal that he gave to her, in the heart shaped setting.

You can see Jo’s finished memorial ring below. This has been cast from new silver, with a handmade setting for her sentimental diamond in the middle. She has bright pink resin with her fathers ashes hand placed over the top, with a pink glitter to finish.

It was a complete delight to welcome Jo and her mum back to our design studio to collect these extremely sentimental and very special rings. They collected their left over family gold and unused ashes at the same time.

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