My objects of desire: Nigel O’Reilly, the Mayo-based goldsmith, on gemstones and Magon watches

O’Reilly’s handcrafted high jewellery has been worn by Saoirse Ronan and featured in Sotheby’s Important Jewels auction in New York.

Nigel O’Reilly: ‘You’ve got to push yourself, and collaborating is one way of exploring new materials.’ Picture: Nathalie Márquez-Courtney

It might sound cheesy, but the best gift I’ve ever received is people’s time. Erwin Springbrunn, the late master goldsmith and gemstone cutter, had never taken on an apprentice, but he gave up his Saturdays for me. Without people like him to mentor me, I would never be here, doing what I want to do.

My pieces always start with the stone, and then you work around it. Picture: Nathalie Márquez-Courtney

I collect gemstones – the vast majority of the ones in this box, above, came from Erwin’s collection. They’re all different. My pieces always start with the stone, and then you work around it. When I look at a piece, I need something vibrant that jumps off the finger.