How Our Jewelry Is Made
The creation of a Celtic engagement ring takes four phases: Design, Assembly, Setting, and Polishing.
As illustrated in the first video, Dave, a ShanOre designer, consults books of ancient Celtic art while pencil-sketching his ideas for ring styles, shapes, and dimensions. Dave takes care to fashion a partnership between the traditional Trinity knot emblem and a classic engagement ring. His goal is to achieve symmetry and seamlessness in the design. Lengthening the Trinity knots on either side of the diamond is a way to fit them perfectly within the width of the band.
When crafting a square setting for a princess cut diamond, Dave includes heart-shaped cutouts in the mount, enhancing the ring with romantic detail. He will then produce a master model of the ring and prepare each component of the ring for casting using a rubber mold. After this process, ShanOre sends the components to the Assay Office in Dublin, Ireland, where assayers test the integrity of the gold and give the components their hallmark before returning them to ShanOre for assembly.
In the Assembly phase of manufacturing, documented in the second video, Colin, a ShanOre goldsmith, puts together the castings of the ring components: the center mount, the shank, and the Trinity shoulders. He solders the center mount on the shank, and then solders the Trinity shoulders onto the band on either side of the mount. The soldering leaves residue that stains the gold, so Colin cleanses the ring in pickling compound before giving it to the polisher.
The third step in the making of an engagement ring involves setting the diamond. At ShanOre, Donal, the setter, must measure the diamond first, as he will adjust the mount to accommodate the jewel’s size. He then places the ring in a vise to hold it steady while he inserts the gem into the mount and pushes down the prongs one by one over its surface. Donal strives to keep the diamond level by adjusting one prong and then the prong in the opposite position. After securing the claws, he files each one individually, ensuring that no gap remains between the claw and the diamond and giving the claw rounded edges.
The Polishing stage of manufacturing comes last. In the fourth video, ShanOre’s polisher, Paddy, cleans out the head of the ring with a narrow bristle that can burrow into the crevices between the claws and the diamond. Next, he runs the ring against a polishing buff to eliminate any major markings from the shank acquired throughout the manufacturing process and to smooth out the head. A side belt with its firm surface evens out the sides of the ring. Finally, Paddy enlists a rouge mount to lend the ring its polish.