Emerald Irish Crystal was founded in 2010 by a group of Master Craftsmen who have perfected their skills in the crystal trade since as far back as 1965. The first Emerald workshop was set up in Dunhill village on Waterford’s beautiful coastline know as the copper coast, named for its historic metal-mining industry.
As the production grew, they eventually set up a facility in Waterford city and the copper coast became part of the inspiration behind their most popular collections.
Just outside the village of Dunhill is the ruin of the historic Dunhill castle, spectacularly positioned on a rock outcrop overlooking the river Anne valley. This became the inspiration behind Emerald’s Dunhill Collection.
The castle is situated on the site of an earlier pre-historic fortification from which the area gets its name – Dún Aill (Fort on the Cliff); here in 1177 the invading Norman family la Poer built their fortress with a view to controlling and defending their newly conquered land.
The Dunhill pattern features a symmetrical series of vertical cuts rising up from a band of diagonal cuts, referred to as karo cutting. The intricate crosscuts represent the stone ramparts surrounding the castle and the fluted cuts both long and short represents the windows in the towers, where archers would have perched themselves to protect the settlement from oncoming invaders. Many of the pieces in this collection were cut by men with the same surname as the founders of the famous castle.
The Emerald facility has grown to become a hub of activity for crystal designers, cutters, engravers, and sculptors in pursuit of excellence in craftsmanship and creativity. All emerald crystal is designed and hand cut in Waterford city and each piece is etched with the Handmade in Ireland mark.
The beautiful Barley collection pays tribute to the care and hard work that goes into this historic craft. The craftsman uses the smallest of wheels to cut tiny ears of barley on each sheaf to show the bounty of the harvest.
The Shamrock collection brings to life the legend of the shamrock and our patron Saint Patrick. The shamrock leafs are placed on the crystal using the smooth surface of a curved wheel. The crystal cutter creates a cluster of olive-shaped cuts, also referred to as printies as in a thumb print. Each shamrock leaf is hand polished to give them a softer appearance, in contrast to the diamond cutting which complements the overall design of the crystal.
This year will mark the 50th anniversary of Senior Designer and Master Craftsmen Walter Walsh. Emerald plans to release a range of special edition artisan showpieces to celebrate the craft and mark this exceptional occasion.
These collections and many more can be viewed in the Emerald Crystal showroom, located at 613 Northern Extension, IDA Business Park, Waterford city.