As you certainly know, religion is a great source of inspiration for jewelry making, and many museums display ancient religious-inspired jewelry, evidence that over the centuries men have worn religious symbols with them.

Religious symbols are most often worn as a pendant. However, it is quite possible to gather some symbols in a coherent design for the making of a ring or signet ring.

In the specific case of this jewel, it is the making of a Christian signet ring with an oval-shaped tray for a man, gathering several Christian symbols engraved in relief on the plate and the sides of the ring.

I invite you to discover the details of the design of this ring and its manufacture in our jewelry workshop which was far from obvious.

We will show you in this article how the design of the ring has been conceived in a virtual object, then how we transposed this 3D model in a real 3D object used to make the solid gold ring.

The different religious symbols used in this project

The religious symbols found on this ring are numerous. We find there:

  • The Chi-Rho
  • The eye of Providence
  • The M, initial for Mary surmounted by a cross
  • The heart of Jesus and the heart of Mary
  • The crown of thorns

You will find a good description and explanations of those Catholic symbols in this article.

The Chi-Rho is a primitive Christian symbol dating back to the fourth century AD, composed of the first two Greek letters of Jesus Christ which are X and P, those letters surrounded by the Greek letters alpha and omega which are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet symbolize that God is the beginning and the end of all creation. You will find more information on this symbol reading this article.

The eye of providence is a Christian symbol that God sees everything and knows everything (source).

The M surmounted by a cross is the initial of Mary, and the cross is that of Christ.

The two hearts of Jesus and Mary are literal representations of these two Christian symbols.

The crown of thorns symbolizes the holy crown worn by Jesus during his crucifixion.

I might be useful to note that the symbols of hearts and the M initial with the cross are taken from the design of the miraculous medal created in 1830 in France for which you will find more information here on the French Wikipedia page.

 

Design of the ring around the Christian symbols

The ring is designed according to the design of our client with support for the visuals provided and presented above.

The plate of the ring is an oval of 15 x 13 millimeters receiving 3 symbols engraved in relief, namely:

  • Chi-Rho in the center
  • the omniscient divine eye below
  • the initial M of the Virgin Mary surmounted by the cross of Jesus
  • all surrounded by a raised border
  • On both sides of the ring, we find on the left the sacred heart or heart of Mary engraved in relief and on the right the heart of Jesus.

Under the ring, engraved in relief on the outside of the ring, a crown of thorns joins the two hearts, symbolizing the crown of thorns of Christ.

For our project, we must then build a digital model with all these details in order to transpose the idea and visuals of symbols into a 3D digital object that can satisfy the expectations of the sponsor.

Obviously, the computer tool is essential for this kind of work cumulating many fine details from all angles of the ring.

We use professional jewelry creation software to create the model and rendering visuals of the ring.

It also allows us via rendering to have a precise idea of the finalized ring with the golden color desired by the customer.

Side view of the religious ring showing the details engraved in relief on the sides of the ring, namely the heart of Jesus, the heart of Mary and the crown of thorns.

Once the design is validated, we are ready to begin the gold making of the ring.

Making of the gold ring

The gold manufacture of the ring will require the digital model previously made.

Using the digital file of our ring model, we realize the 3D printing of the wax ring with a 3D printer.

Then we obtain the physical wax ring design corresponding to the digital model, as shown below.

View of the wax model of the ring made with the help of 3d printing

This wax model is then used to create a casting tree for the lost wax casting process.

View of a casting tree under development before making the refractory plaster mold. You can discover all the steps of preparing such a mold by reading this article on the subject.

The refractory plaster mold thus formed is heated to burn the resin, and then the molten liquid gold is poured in it.

This video summarizes the stages of mold preparation and molten gold casting for another gold ring pattern.

Once the gold casting is completed, we recover our 18-carat gold tree from the plaster mold by breaking the latter.

View of the details of the relief engraving obtained by the lost wax casting process, one can recognize the details of Chi-Rho, the divine eye and the initial letter of Mary.

The ring is then cut from the carrot to be able to handle it and then follow the steps of detailing, retouching, filing and polishing in order to give the ring its final appearance.

On these view of the side of the ring rough from the foundry process, you can see the details of both hearts, on the, left the heart of Jesus with the flame and the crown of thorns and on the right the heart of the sacred heart bleeding with the flame, the blade.

Once the polishing is finalized, we obtain this result:

 

Here are some examples of other religious jewels that we had the opportunity to make in our workshop:

 

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