This teething ring has 2 small sterling silver bells attached to it by sterling silver rings. Both the bells are decorated with the Moon and Stars motif which is present throughout the collection. Perfectly suitable as a baby present for any occasion such as a baptism, christening or even a birthday. Silver is known to possess certain health qualities.
How it is made
It has 13 components, 14 if you count the craftsmanship. One resin (imitation ivory) teething ring, 2 large round wire rings, 2 small silver jump rings, 4 spinnings for the bells and 4 pieces of silver grain for tinkling inside the bells.
The teething ring is turned from a resin bar and highly polished. It is made for us by an outside supplier who specializes in making products from this material. The 2 large silver rings come to us as a larger diameter wire than we initially need. We run this firstly through a rolling mill and then draw it down to a smaller diameter. This is to harden the material in order to stop the ring opening and allowing the balls to pop out inadvertently. The tiny silver jump rings are made from silver wire drawn down to the diameter we require and wound around a straight piece of rod to produce a spiral. The rings are cut off the spiral, have their ends bent together with 2 pairs of flat nosed pliers and are soldered to the top half of the bell spinning. They are spun in 2 halves and will be lapped together to form 1 unit once a slot has been cut into the lower half, the top has had its jump ring attached and the pieces of silver grain inserted.
Spinning explained: It is a process of forming round hollow objects from sheet metal and is used in other industries, for example, electrical for making lampshades and some cooking utensils are made by this method. It is ancient but still practical today for the making of small to medium production runs. The forming takes place on a metal spinning lathe (rather like a heavy duty wood turning lathe) on which a former known as a 'chuck' has been made. A metal disc, in this case silver, is clamped to it and while they rotate together in tandem, the 'spinner' coaxes the disc over the chuck using a highly polished burnisher fixed into a long wooden handle. This tool is known as the spinning tool. Several 'anneals' (made red hot) will be necessary to soften this work hardening material as the item gains depth. A mixture of soap and oil are applied to the surface as a lubricant as it is rotating to minimize scratching and to prevent the item getting too hot. Once fitted closely onto the chuck, the spinning is trimmed to size.
Once all the silver items have been made but before polishing, they are delivered to the London Assay Office to be scraped and tested. Once a positive result has been received from the laboratory which confirms they have been made with metal containing at least 92.5%, pure silver, the hallmarks are burnt into the surface along with the 'Over the Moon' logo. This independent hallmarking process is one that began in the 1400s and is considered to be one of the world's oldest and most secure forms of consumer protection.
Upon arrival back at the workshop, they are polished and the masks are attached to the surface of the bells. In the sandblasting cabinet the moon and stars pattern is etched into the surface through the mask. They are removed from the cabinet, the mask removed, attached to the resin ring and finally polished, inspected and packed into the distinctive 'Over the Moon' design boxes which are lined with green satin.