Looking for metals, gems, (coins?) unique to Iceland, Arctic Circle
September 14, 2014 7:18 AM   Subscribe

I want to design a simple wedding ring for my fiancee. She loves Iceland more than me. Is there any unique material or gem that could be used in a ring? Or a referent to the area?
posted by ebesan to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A lava rock from Surtsey? A stone left behind from the retreat of a glacier? Some rocks from the bottom of the Blue Lagoon?
posted by mdonley at 7:33 AM on September 14, 2014

Icelandic Lava "Pearl" Jewelry?
posted by erst at 7:34 AM on September 14, 2014

Oh wow, now I want some lava rock jewelry!
posted by BibiRose at 7:40 AM on September 14, 2014

Response by poster: isn't lava tough, but porous? full of air chambers? how workable would a small piece be?
posted by ebesan at 7:51 AM on September 14, 2014

Icelandic coins are lovely and have images of a lot of local fish and other animals on them. However a lot of this would be lost making them into rings. I have a ring, for example, that is made out of the Vermont quarter (there are people on Etsy who do this, here are some examples of what they can look like and here is one from Iceland that isn't in their Etsy shop) and I can read the words VERMONT and it has the milled edge. However if you are willing to spend some money and don't have your heart set on a ring (and I realize you probably do and I don't blame you but I wanted to toss this out there) Iceland does have this amazing silver coin that celebrates the 1000th anniversary of the Althing, their legislative body and the oldest form of parlimentary government in the world. It's pretty special and unique and very very Icelandic.
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on September 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

On the whole lava thing, caveat emptor. I've had a few different people warn me that most of the jewelry sold on the island is assembled on the island, yes- but the lava rock itself is usually from somewhere else, sometimes from other places in Scandinavia, other times from Asia, for the very reasons you mention.

The rule they've told me is that if the lava stone is heavily polished or worked- probably not Icelandic. If it's very, very rough then it's more likely to be the real deal.

Personally I would go with Jessamyn's idea, which is awesome!
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:14 AM on September 14, 2014

Best answer: I have some small (and larger) pieces of obsidian from walking Hekla, and I've got one of those waiting at a local jeweler for a pendant mount. A smaller piece would be lovely inset into a ring.
posted by vegartanipla at 8:26 AM on September 14, 2014

One thing to be cautious about: many coins contain nickel, and many people are allergic to it or become allergic with exposure. It would be so sad to become allergic to one's wedding ring.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:00 AM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The polished lava is beautiful, but as Old Man points out, how to guarantee the provenance? Good point Corpse- (I will have to discreetly inquire)
posted by ebesan at 9:11 AM on September 14, 2014

Well, you can't get more special than Iceland spar.
posted by Kattullus at 12:35 PM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The island is rich in Viking history. How about a ring with Viking runes on it? Or engrave the Icelandic word for "love" on the inside or outside of a ring? Or she could wear a ring made to look like basalt? Or, following Kattullus's suggestion, here's a beautiful ring made from spar.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 3:30 PM on September 14, 2014

Instead of getting a type of rock/mineral, maybe getting something that is designed in Iceland? Aurum is a personal favourite. Their designs are all inspired by Iceland in different ways, and their main shop is in Reykjavik.
(They also have jewelry with volcanic rock in it)
posted by troytroy at 2:24 AM on September 15, 2014

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