Recently, a customer contacted me on Etsy who wanted a custom design. He wanted a platinum Mother-Child Knot Necklace. His wife inherited a diamond ring. He wanted to take the diamond from the old ring and mount it into a pendant. He saw my version of the Mother-Child Knot Necklace with birthstones on Etsy, and wanted a version of it with the diamond in the center.
The Design of the Platinum Mother-Child Knot
Up to now, I had not designed anything with prongs. I wanted to be cautious about this because he also wanted the pendant made from platinum. Therefore, the pendant would cost quite a bit. Because of the expense, there was no room for error.
First, I had to figure out how to design the prongs. The customer got me the basic dimensions of the diamond. I took that information and created a rough 3D model of the diamond. Then I got a tip from a fellow designer on Shapeways. He recommended I check out a web site called Wizegem. From that, I got a prong model from that was very close to the correct size. I then downloaded it and brought it into Blender, and scaled it a little bit to make it the exact size I needed.
At that point, I shared screenshots of the first attempt with the customer to see if it looked like what he had hoped. He requested a couple minor changes. Once those were done, we ordered a plastic version of the pendant and it was sent it to him. He verified that the diamond fit in the prongs perfectly. Finally, we placed the order for the platinum version.
The Finished Product
The version in the picture attached to this post does not have the actual diamond. It has a Swarovski crystal, which is a bit smaller than the real diamond will be. I placed it there just to give an idea of what it will look like when it is all done.
Back in May, I got a request from a customer on Etsy to create am Onyx Claddagh Ring. It would be a Claddagh ring with Celtic knots on either side of a heart-shaped Onyx stone in the center. At that time, I was just starting to experiment with mounting stones or gems to my jewelry. I decided to take on the project knowing that if I messed up it could be expensive, but it would also be a learning experience.
First Version Of The Onyx Claddagh Ring
The customer had an old ring that had broken. They wanted the new one to be similar to that one, but with some changes. Based on the pictures she sent, I estimated the gem to be 6mm tall. So I designed a ring with a place for a gem that size and ordered a 6mm Onyx gem from Africa Gems. When the design was done, I ordered a plastic prototype and had it sent to the customer. I also received a plastic version myself so I could take a look at it and make sure the gem fit the mounting correctly.
It turned out that I had underestimated the size of the gem by quite a bit! The customer got their plastic prototype and explained that it needed to be a lot bigger. After that, they sent me an impression of the old ring so I could compare it. I was able to measure the impression and get much better dimensions. I made another version, this time for one with a 10mm gem.
So I redesigned the ring for a 10mm gem. At the same time I ordered the new 10mm gem. We had another plastic prototype made and this one was much closer to what they were looking for. I again got a plastic prototype for myself, too. This allowed me to verify that I liked the appearance and that the gem would be a good fit into the area that I designed for it to mount. The gem ended It eneded up being a very good fit. I only had to make two minor changes to it. The “crown” part of the ring was a bit thin compared to the rest of the ring. So I made the crown a bit thicker to match the rest of the ring. I also reduced the ring size a bit. The customer said the last plastic version they received was a a little bit too big. Once those changes were done, I ordered the final silver version.
Final Silver Version
I just got the silver version this week. I’m very pleased with how it turned out. The gem is a very good fit. I shared pictures of it with the customer and they also liked it. I shipped it to them and they should have it shortly.
With the iterations we went through, the whole process took about four months! We started it in late May and finally completed it here in late September. It took me some time to design each version, and then each time we order prototypes, it took about 2 weeks for them to arrive. So 6 weeks of that time was just waiting on the three different versions to arrive.
The platic prototypes though were key because they allowed us to make changes to make sure the customer got exactly what they wanted, and that the ring was the correct size. Plastic prototypes are only a few dollars plus shipping, so they are well worth it. Thankfully, the customer was very understanding since this was a pretty challenging project.
After this experience, I decided to make new versions of my own Claddagh rings with crystals. I should have my first prototype of one of those soon. If all goes well, I hope to make them available for ordering soon.
The Claddagh Ring has been around for hundreds of years. About halfway down this page is an explanation of the meaning behind the Claddagh symbol.
Contact me if you would like to order your own version of this Onyx ring.
I am in the process of learning how to add gems and other stones to my jewelry designs. It’s something I had wanted to learn how to do for a long time. I’ve finally learned enough about gems that it was time to give it a shot. One of our first offerings will be two versions of a birthstone pendant.
The birthstones we are using are Swarovski crystals. These are synthetic versions of the gems. The only exception is the stone we are using for June. For that one we have Moonstone instead of crystal.
The crystals and stones in these two designs are 3.0mm to 3.2mm in diameter. We placed them inside the negative space of the Celtic knots. The Motherhood Knot can be bought with up to six birthstones. So far I have only created a version of it with one birthstone and three birthstones as test runs. There are other spots identified for all of the variations. The Mother and Child Knot is simpler. It only has two birthstones, one representing the mother and one representing the child.
See the table below for all of the birthstone choices and the meaning behind each one.
Aquamarine (light blue)
Strength and courage
Pearl or Moonstone (white)
Love or Fertility
Ruby (dark red or maroon)
Harmony, or protection
Peridot (light green)
Purity of spirit
Sapphire (dark blue)
Opal or Tourmaline (pink)
Topaz or Citrine (gold)
Turqoise (light blue)
We have more designs in process that incorporate gems and stones. Please stay tuned for updates as we continue to expand our offerings.
Below you can enter to win a Celtic Tree of Life Necklace. After you sign up you will get a link. Share that link with your friends and you will get another entry to the contest for every friend that uses that link to sign up.
As has happened a couple times before, through my various interactions on Instagram I became acquainted with someone interested in working with me to promote my jewelry. When I was looking at Celtic-related hashtags I liked a few pictures by Katie C’etta. She reached out to see if I was interested in collaborating. I initially sent her a couple pieces of jewelry and she got them featured in Local Pittsburgh Magazine. I wrote about that in this previous post.
After that, Katie was very adamant that she could help grow my brand and wanted to do more. I was hesitant just because I don’t have a big budget for advertising. She worked with me to get a price that I could afford. So I sent her another few pieces. She got together with photographer Julie Kahlbaugh, a photographer for Local Pittsburgh Magazine to create the pictures.
They sent me several photos and I am kind of blown away by the results. They saw the kind of nature-theme I was going for in a lot of my own pictures on my site and took it to the another level.
When I’m doing pictures on my own, I’m trying to create something where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example, close ups of jewelry can be neat, and close ups of flowers can also turn out cool. Put the jewelry together with a flower, and it creates something better than either one by themselves. There is something about the combination of the different elements that really makes the picture special. Well, Katie and Julie took that idea and ran with it. The results were better than anything I’ve been able to do on my own. My favorites are the ones they did with the Leaf Knot Ring and the Round Celtic Cross Necklace. Check out the photos below to see for yourself.
If you are looking for creative branding ideas and stunning photos, I would recommend Katie and Julie without hesitation. We are already talking about doing more in the future.