The Hespera GemFire ring, made famous when worn by Lena Headey in Game of Thrones, has gotten a lot of attention in the last month. The ring in it of itself is stunning, hand carved from a variety of our rare gemstones, but the story of how the rings came about is somewhat of happy mistake more than a well planned journey through the gem world. This is the story of the GemFire ring.
In 2009 when we were first starting out as a jewelry company, I was trying to find new and interesting evolutions on materials and designs that we have had for generations. I wanted to not just use typical garden variety Amethyst or Citrine, but I instead wanted to use rare, unusual materials like Peruvian Imperial Amethyst or Star Citrines from South America. I didn't want to just use dyed agate from china, I wanted to find Argentine and Brazilian Agate that had been heat treated to bring out their amazing natural colors.
As I was acquiring all of these sources for rare material, I discovered that there was a whole culture around making these beautiful rings, carved out of one simple piece of stone. Now, because the process breaks the majority of stones, people would only use cheap stones so that they could create the rings without worrying too much about whether or not their material was breaking. This resulted in rings that, while they are cool, are not all that attractive.
I realized that if I found someone who understood the properties of the stones, and who could carve these rings by hand, I could create rings that were not just interesting pieces of stone...but also stunningly beautiful.
I found our Brazilian lapidariest while at the world's largest Gem Show in Hong Kong. He was a young man who was helping his dad sell aquamarine, something their family has done for decades. As I was looking at his father's stones and chatting with him, I came to learn that he wanted to create a new way of cutting stone using the Eastern technique of water knives, as well as lasers and modern technology. I was deeply impressed by him, and took down all of his contract information. I wasn't yet sure how I would need him, but I was excited to help him revolutionize his industry.
I left Hong Kong with a small problem: I had a lot of Star Citrine, a rare South American variety of Citrine, and had no idea what to do with it. After agonizing about why I had bought so much of this material for which I had almost no use, it occurred to me: I should talk to this young man in Brazil.
I called him and we talked about turning the Citrine into rings. He was worried that I would lose a lot of material - Citrines are notoriously hard to cut - they have tons of fracture points and the stone beneath the crystal breaks apart very easily is not cut properly. I wanted to try anyway - if it could be done with cheap material we must be able to find a way to create beautiful rings out of the high end AAA grade stones. I drew up a design that was a bit wider in the band than the traditional stone rings, with a higher face. This gave the band a bit more structural integrity and made it significantly less fragile. Employing water cutting techniques, and with a great eye for finding the right parts of the stone to select for the rings, our Brazilian team expertly cut our first set of the Citrine GemFire rings with almost no loss.
Because we treasure these rings so highly, we have the rings shipped to our expert gem polishers in Munich who take hours with each ring to make sure that the bands are perfectly polished and that the faces are glimmering and without blemish. Our Citrine GemFire rings are unlike anything anyone has see, and we are so honored that they have gotten so much attention.
While we initially have only made the rings in small batches, we had been developing a plan to release the rings in the Fall as a new item for the holidays! With the feature on the finale of season 6 of Game of Thrones...we had to expedite that production. We are proud to release 4 styles of our GemFire ring, in Citrine, Amethyst, Colombian White Quartz, and Brazilian Emerald.
Please enjoy these little treasure, made with great love by us here at Hespera.
Thanks for the feature, Cersei. Glad to see badass women everywhere loving Hespera!
Best, Eric Ruyak