Lucy's ring - a real family affair 

Posted by Jo Beckett on

For Christmas not long ago Lucy’s husband and two sons gifted her the most incredible 3.62ct oval emerald.
Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring
Along with this magnificent stone, they had - very thoughtfully - presented Lucy with a shortlist of jewellers for her to choose from, who would set the stone in a piece of jewellery.

Lucy explains:
‘When my husband and 2 boys presented me with a pdf, complete with photos showing the work of different jewellers in London, Jo’s work instantly resonated. I loved the way her jewellery is architectural and played with form and light. But I was nervous about the design of the ring overshadowing the emerald. I needn’t have been. Jo understood straight away what I was after and we played with lots of ideas and ways of setting the ring before settling on the final design. It was a fun and exciting process and I loved that my boys got involved as well.’

The commission started deep in Covid times, and so our conversations around all the different options and considerations for the emerald took place via zoom. When lockdown eased, Lucy came to my studio to see some of my designs in person - this can really help to understand the scale and feel of the different collections. She settled on the idea of a square band, with its undulating pattern which catches the light beautifully. Lucy was pleased that the band’s understated detailing wasn’t so ornate as to detract attention from the stunning emerald. So we used that as a starting point for the rest of the ring.

Design considerations

The properties of an emerald meant that this would not be an everyday ring; it needed to be handled with care. I knew I wanted the design to let as much light as possible  through the stone to show off its extraordinary colour and fire. Given it was a large stone on a slim band, I also needed to consider the setting very carefully.
Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring
In the end we opted for an 8 pronged claw setting, which would be strong enough to house the impressive stone securely, while not compromising on the light around the stone.

Design prototype
Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring
I created a prototype out of resin so that Lucy could see the scale, setting and overall design of her ring before we took the plunge and cast it in gold. She brought one of her sons along to the studio when the prototype arrived. It’s always an exciting albeit quite nerve wracking stage of the process, but fortunately they were both very pleased with it and so we proceeded to cast it in 18ct solid yellow gold.

Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring

Lucy’s experience

We asked Lucy to share her experience of the ring, she explains:

Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring
‘When I collected the ring from the studio I was so so thrilled. But what I’ve really loved is how my relationship with the ring has changed over the months. I’ve worn it with an evening dress and with jeans. Some weeks, I wear it often, other times hardly at all. But every time I wear it, I get a little thrilling jolt, I love it so much. It is honestly my favourite thing. And what I would run back for in a fire!’
Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring
Thank you very much for letting us be part of your story, Lucy - we are so very pleased that you love your ring!

Jo Hayes Ward | Jewellery Designer London| Design led fine jewellery | Custom made jewellery | Lucy's emerald ring

To find out more about how to commission check out the Custom and Bespoke area of the website. The drop down also includes examples of custom and bespoke pieces Jo has created and Jo's repurposing jewellery gallery.

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