Gold mining and jewellery making in Ireland has an ancient history dating back more than five thousand years.
The Celts, who inhabited Ireland from around 600 BC, were extremely skilled metalworkers and created intricate Irish gold jewellery, weapons and Celtic brooches. They also mined for gold and used it to create coins and other items of high value that they could easily carry - such as gold torcs and bracelets.
During the medieval period, gold mining in Ireland continued to thrive. The country was known for its Irish goldsmiths, who produced extremely high-quality jewellery and other gold items. Many of these goldsmiths were in fact monks, who used their skills to create chalices, goblet and Celtic crosses.
In the modern era, gold mining in Ireland has declined significantly. However, the country still has a strong tradition of goldsmithing and jewellery making. Irish goldsmiths are known for their skill and craftsmanship, and the country is home to a number of jewellery schools and workshops. I often use Irish gold mined from Irish soil in my jewellery designs.
One of the most famous examples of Irish goldsmithing is the famous "Celtic Knot" jewellery, which is still widely produced and worn today. This jewellery features intricate Celtic knotwork designs that are said to have symbolic meaning.
Overall, gold mining and Irish jewellery making have played a significant role in Ireland's history and culture. Though the industry has declined, the tradition of goldsmithing and jewellery making remains strong, and Irish goldsmiths that are still renowned for their skill and craftsmanship.