The Vienna Ring Road is not only a magnificent boulevard and as such jewel of our city – it is also available as a jewel. Goldsmith Stefan Nikl and designer Siegfried Baumgartner have jointly designed the Vienna Ring, which is a very special reminder for Vienna fans in yellow, red or white gold.
We met Stefan Nikl and asked for a conversation.
What makes the Vienna ring Road so special in your eyes that it is now available as a jewel?
The Ring Road in Vienna carries the ring as something closed, already in the name – as something that is shaped in such a way that it can be worn on the finger, for example. My cooperation partner, Siegfried Baumgartner, has therefore recognized the Vienna Ring as a jewel, which has a particularly close relationship with Vienna. There are also some word games around the Viennese ring, for example, “I am on the ring” – that is also the magic and the idea of our project. The jewelry reflects, so to say, the heart of Vienna’s city center, which can be worn directly on the body.
That is, behind the idea of the jewelry is not a romantic love story?
No, no love story, but a long-lasting friendship. Siegfried is a designer with a predilection for spatial and urban planning. We often talked about good and bad architecture and eventually the idea arose to make a joint project. He designed the prototype, which I at first did not recognize as the Vienna Ring; placed on the map it was immediately clear to me. The Vienna Ring is therefore a jewel for fans of Vienna.
Who is your customer base? A native Viennese or a tourist, who wants to take a piece of Vienna back at home?
Both. Our shops are not located along the typical tourist trails, but we have some cooperations with hotels on the Vienna Ring Road – for example with the Grand Hotel. We are delighted if the piece of jewelry is well received and when fans of Vienna or fans of the Vienna Ring Road take a memory home.
Where do you get the raw materials for the Vienna Ring?
In Austria hardly any more gold is promoted, but there is a lot of gold in the market. We can therefore look back on Austrian gold recycling companies and also purchase old gold from private individuals. We recently also signed a licensing agreement with Fairmind. Here, small-scale mining workers in South America are supported, who only use gold in small structures and therefore do not interfere with nature as much as they do with large mining companies. This is a viable option for us to focus on fair gold and thus also to consider social aspects. Thus, in the training of the miners, modern technologies are also set aside to preserve nature as much as possible.
They also make custom-made products. What is your favorite story?
I remember a couple who danced in Vienna. He was a Viennese, she had Scottish roots and both chose the Vienna Ring herring. The bride wanted to be a reminiscence of her home blue and green stones, which we put into the ring following the coat of arms of her family clan. We like to customize every piece of jewelry, from engravings to special precious stones. With this history a particularly beautiful combination of two countries emerged.
If you also want to have a genuine Vienna Ring on your finger, you get everything, what you need to know, here.