gemstone ring in rose gold and platinum designed by jewellery artist Christine Sadler

A Lifetime Of Love

This ring commission takes two lives and transforms them into a song that becomes a piece of jewellery. An epic journey that seeks to record the invisible truth about the connections we form with our mothers. 

Christine Sadler emotional ring commission inspired by music

My customer wanted me to create a unique piece of jewellery that symbolised her connection with her Mother. Her Mum had passed away recently and she was experiencing overwhelming loss. I asked her if she had any memories of her Mum that she wanted me to use as a starting point. She said her Mum was their whole world, matriarch, giver of love and advice. She always knew the right thing to say. She mentioned that her Mum had always loved the colour blue, a specific aquamarine shade. She wondered if a design based on a crown would be a good place to start. 

mother and daughter jewellery commission


I wanted to make the design a bit more about their relationship and their bond.

I started to think about the mother child bond and how it starts in the womb. That connection is so unique and it changes both the mother and the child. Did you know that fingerprints are unique because of the contact the baby has with the womb lining? There are only three main types of fingerprints, (eight if you work for the FBI) and the variations on these that make them unique is the contact inside the womb. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. 

The mother too is changed by the pregnancy. A Facebook friend shared with me this really interesting information on how a baby's cells live on in the mother, a process called Fetal Maternal Microchimerism.


I started to think about this one body with two different heartbeats playing inside it. I researched the heartbeat speeds of both mother and daughter. I expected that the baby's heartbeat would be really fast because it is so small and the mother's much slower but I was surprised to discover that sometimes the mother and baby's heartbeats beat at the same speed. The research I found was medical and said that the baby's heartbeat is monitored to assess its health and if the hearts beat at the same speed it can be difficult to tell them apart. I imagined what this would sound like musically. Two beats sometimes together, sometimes at different speeds. Like two drummers. 

Because my customer had said her mother was a matriarch, I started to look at musical instruments played in matriarchal societies. I also thought about using the shapes of other musical instruments to make a unique piece of jewellery. One that perhaps made a noise. 

I was really excited about the direction that this design was going but I wanted to check with my customer to see if these ideas resonated with her. I sent her a message asking if there was a musical connection between her mum and her? An instrument or a song?

I was really surprised when my customer sent me a message saying her dad was a singer and entertainer and that there had always been music in their home. She sent me a picture of his gravestone that had a treble clef on it. 

father gravestone with musical note
She also sent me this beautiful picture of her with her Mum and Dad when she was young and a professional photo of her Dad.
image of Alf McSkimming

It felt as if this idea was destined for this design. 

I started to do some research into artists who take sounds or music and make them into physical objects. This led me to American artist Christine Sun Kim. CK, as she likes to be called, has been deaf since birth and she explores ways to show how she experiences life using musical notation in a completely unique way. 

This is one of her pieces of art. The Sound Of Temperature Rising.

christine sun kim the sound of temperature rising


I loved how Christine Sun Kim takes ownership of sound and uses it to share the unique way she experiences this world.

I felt so empowered by her art that I wanted to put down on paper all of the ideas I had been thinking about using gemstones. 

I decided to create a line of gemstones for the life of the daughter and a line of gemstones for the mother. A timeline of their life together. I decided to use aquamarines for the mother, her favourite colour, but I also wanted to use this gemstone because it is the correct colour for the throat chakra. My customer is very spiritual and I knew that she was aware of chakra points and their symbolism. The throat chakra governs the voice and as her mother always knew the right thing to say this seemed perfect as a symbol for her. As my customer had also mentioned the matriarchy and the idea of a crown I chose purple to represent her. Purple is the crown chakra at the top of the head. It represents spiritual connection. 

jewellery commission with musical meaning
I started with the gemstones alternating. This represents the two heartbeats inside the mother's body. In the daughter's lifeline, I put four diamonds to symbolise the silence before she was born. This is the period of their life when there is the magical connection but during which they can't talk or cuddle. 
gemstone ring with musical inspiration
Then I added pairs of gemstones to represent the lub dub of their hearts.
The hearts are in separate lines because they are now two separate people but they beat in unison to symbolise the connection that they share while they are alive. They symbolise the times they spend together, laughing and looking after each other and all of the different things they shared that built their bond.
ring design inspiration taken from musical notation
The last phrase of the song is the period now. It's the point that echos the first phrase. The mother and daughter share an invisible bond and they cannot talk or hold each other. There are four diamonds to represent the silence in the mother's lifeline and in the daughter's line, their heartbeats are alternated. Now, the daughter carries the mother, not in her womb, but in her heart. The song isn't over but continues because of the daughter's memories of their time together and in all the tiny things she does everyday because she knew and loved her.
I was quite emotional about sharing my interpretation of their relationship because it meant a lot to me to get this right. I was prepared to completely scrap this idea and start again if she didn't like it but when I sent through some images and the explanation she said it was beautiful and that she was in tears. 
She said the only thing she would like to add were two larger stones, one Aquamarine and one purple Sapphire. I really liked this idea of almost giving their song a name and when I researched what the double dots on music mean, it is to repeat the section. It seemed a perfect way to symbolise their everlasting love. 
rose gold and platinum ring with gemstones
We decided to go for a rose gold ring with two platinum sleeves to create two platinum lines to set the stones into and a rose gold line to separate them. The rose gold represents their blood connection and as it goes inside the ring, is the part that contacts with her skin. 
purple sapphires and aquamarine ring
This is the first set of heartbeats.
unique bespoke ring made for a mother on the passing of her mother
The second set are at the back of the ring.
a unique ring design to symbolise a mother and daughter
The third set are evenly spaced with the other two and the stones at the front.

Jewellery is a small, precious wearable piece of art that has the potential to communicate complex ideas and emotions and can last for generations.

This is a picture of my customer's Mum with her Grandchildren. I know that this ring is now a connection for them to both their Mum and Gran.
gran with grandchildren
My jewellery is about connections. Connections we make with other people and the world around us and how we share what is important to us.
What's important to me is that the things I make are treasured and I know from experience that in order for this to happen, people need to have a connection with the piece. I build that connection by actively encouraging people to get involved with the process. This happens not only in commissions like this one but also in the collections on my website which are more of an invitation to start a dialogue about what is important to you.
In order to capture the meaning that someone wants to express, to make invisible connections into physical objects, I have had to find new ways of adding meaning to jewellery and over the last 25 years, that has resulted in the creation of a new language for jewellery. A language that is growing and developing with each commission that expresses deep emotions in a way that can be shared and treasured.
I am so grateful to all my customers who allow me to share these personal commissions and who bring joy to the world by reminding us of what is important in life. 
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