Recently a client contacted me who had an old gold ring, a special family heirloom, made in Denmark over 100 years ago. Her daughter was getting married and she wanted to give a personal gift for the ceremony.
Knowing that the old gold ring was very much loved, but in poor condition with fracturing evident and it was beginning to fall apart, the lady already knew it couldn’t be repaired. As part of her gift to her daughter and soon-to-be son-in-law she wanted the ring remodelled.
As it turns out, the ring was 18 carat yellow gold, and after a discussion we decided to transform the original ring into a new gold ring, incorporating an element of new gold to enlarge and strengthen it.
A phone call or two to London and I was given the correct size to make the new ring. It transpired that it would have to be several sizes larger than the original so additional gold was definitely required.
To create a ring for the new size I melted new 18 carat gold (in the form of ‘grain’, like mini gold nuggets), melting it with the old gold ring to create a new, larger piece of solid gold that could then begin its transformation.
Another couple of phone calls and the ‘look’ of the ring was worked out – a contrast of a brushed satin exterior, with a lovely highly polished shiny interior.
It had been a tight deadline, but my client picked up the finished ring two days before she jetted off to the wedding in London. She was delighted with the new family heirloom, as were the newly-weds!
Christina Keogh is an Irish goldsmith who works with silver, gold and freshwater pearls and is a member of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.