Bespoke Feature: The Five H's

What do you gift a jeweller’s wife of 30 years? Jewellery, of course! To celebrate Paul and Rowena Hogan’s 30th wedding anniversary, second generation jeweller and Managing Director, Paul enlisted the help of son and third generation jeweller, Lachlan to covertly craft a magnificent 5-carat Ceylon Sapphire cluster style dress ring. Crafted by hand, the design features two halos around the centre stone. While the outer halo is made up of round brilliant cut white diamonds, the inner halo has been set with one the rarest gemstones in the World, Argyle pink diamonds. To complete the design, two heart-shaped Argyle pink diamonds encased by petite white diamonds, were set on either side of the Ceylon sapphire.

With such a top-heavy design, the band had to be custom-designed to stop the ring from spinning when worn. Lachlan designed the band in a way that features ornate scrollwork on the band, adding to the intricate detail of the extravagant dress ring. Perhaps the most sentimental design component though, are the five intricately handcrafted H initials that make up the ring’s basket. Each resembling each of the Hogan family members, these H’s have been crafted from 18k rose gold and can only be seen from underneath the ring, making them a hidden design feature that can be appreciated from any angle.

Today, we speak with Lachlan, the Master jeweller who not only designed this extravagant dress ring but crafted it completely by hand.

Q: When designing the ring, did you have any guidance or specific design requests from Rowena?
A: The brief from Rowena included the piece being made in rose and white gold, along with a splash of pink diamonds and more specifically, five H initials to represent each member of the Hogan family. The rest of the design was left up to me to devise.

Q: At the time of designing the ring, did you know that the piece would be as top-heavy as it is, or did you find that you needed to incorporate the shaped band at the time of crafting it?
A: Of course, with the size of the sapphire and adding two rows of surrounding diamonds, the cluster would always be top-heavy. The band is also a wider style to counterbalance the weight of the setting and the shape of it ensures the ring sits upright on the finger. I love the elaborate detail of the band as it compliments the detail of the setting and basket, a plain band wouldn’t have done the setting justice and matched the level of detail in the ring.

Q: Can you describe the process of handcrafting the ornate scrollwork on the band? What techniques and tools did you use?
A: Handmaking a ring like this really tests your skill set as a jeweller. It’s a combination of all of the fundamental skills that you learn from early on as an apprentice and eventually master. From forging and shaping metal to delicately saw piercing and soldering components together. All of the tools on a jeweller’s bench are used to handmake an artwork like this one.

Q: The split-style claws that hold the Ceylon Sapphire are quite unique and incredibly intricate. Was there any inspiration behind this design or was this something completely new?

A: This was something completely new that I had thought of, and was again an idea that I felt was suitable to the rest of the ring, making it completely unique. I really do love the effect the claws on the sapphire give!

Q: Were there any components of the ring that were more difficult to craft than others?
A: There is a lot of complexity to the ring and so many areas that tested my skills. Probably the most difficult parts would handcarving the centre setting for the sapphire and the five H symbols. All of the H’s are on compound curves, meaning they curve like a bowl shape and saw piercing out accurately to resemble to the H and then assembling accurately was a big challenge.

Q: Which design feature are you most proud of in this design?
A: I personally love every part of the design. The five H’s definitely make the piece a very unique and sentimental piece but I also love the heart-shaped pink diamonds and the details of the band. As a complete piece I am proud of the whole thing.

Q: How did you ensure the Argyle pink diamonds complemented rather than overpowered the Ceylon sapphire?
A: Pink diamonds are generally not big stones, and the colour isn’t an intense overpowering colour in most grades. Therefore, they complement almost any gemstone and don’t really overpower at all. Although, I think it is always very important to accompany them with white diamonds nearby in the design to contrast and really show their pink hue. They are a great addition to any piece to lift the calibre and make it a standout rare gemstone piece.

Q: Can you describe the process of handcrafting the ornate scrollwork on the band? What techniques and tools did you use?
A:  The band is actually a three piece assembly rather than a traditional single piece of forged metal. The three bars of metal were individually rolled then hand-shaped before being profiled and assembled. This makes it a little more complicated to achieve the desired finger size as all the pieces must remain equal and matching.

Q: How did the hidden H initials come to be part of the design? What was the inspiration behind this sentimental touch?
A: I came up with the idea to put one in as a detail on the underside of the setting, inside the ring. Mum loved it and said how about we try and fit 5 of them for my family. An easier idea to say than do. It was a challenge to find a way to fit them all, but in the end, the additional four H’s made the basket construction in each quadrant that adjoins the setting to the band. It worked perfectly!

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