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History & Heritage

Obernik Family 1950s

Our story begins nearly 80 years ago, back in 1941, when our founder Gustaf (Nicky) Obernik, took his family on a weekend break to Killarney to visit the famous Gap of Dunloe. Gustaf was surprised to see the volume of visitors that were attracted to this beautiful landmark and he started to explore the idea of designing and manufacturing Irish jewellery inspired by Ireland’s rich history and heritage.

When he founded his jewellery business at No.10 Harcourt Street in Dublin, he could hardly have imagined what it would become. Back then, and starting with just 2 employees, his company soon became known for their beautiful, Celtic and Irish history inspired pieces. He went on to be one of the first, if not the first, person to design and manufacture brooches using Connemara Marble, a material that is unique to Ireland.

Both of his sons, Tony and Nicky joined the company in the 60’s, continuing the heritage by growing and developing the company further. Tony spent a lot of his time travelling the world sourcing inspiration for product design, while Nicky spent his time developing customer relations through attending sales events and visiting customers. Grandson Marcus joined the company in 2002 and works now as the creative director.

Find out more about Solvar’s team

Solvar's first premises, 10 Harcourt Street, Dublin
No. 10 Harcourt Street Where it all started 80 years ago
Gustaf Obernik with his wife Margo
Margo and Gustaf ObernikGustaf with his beloved wife  
Time honoured craft and artistryHandcrafted with skill, passion & wisdom

Solvar Today

Solvar is an award-winning jewellery manufacturer crafting Irish jewellery since 1941. We are a third-generation family run Irish business combining our passion for the history and heritage of Ireland with our love of jewellery.

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IRISH SYMBOLS AND HISTORIES

Celtic Cross symbol

THE CELTIC CROSS

A symbol of Irish faith Find out more
Claddagh symbol

THE CLADDAGH

A symbol of Love, loyalty & friendship Find out more
Irish Harp symbol

THE IRISH HARP

A symbol of Irish identity & pride Find out more
Shamrock symbol

THE SHAMROCK

A symbol of our emerald isle Find out more
Tree of life symbol

THE TREE OF LIFE

A symbol of family & Celtic heritageFind out more
Trinity Knot symbol

THE TRINITY KNOT

A symbol of never ending love & eternal life Find out more
St Bridget's Cross symbol

ST. BRIDGET’S CROSS

Ancient Irish symbol of protection Find out more
Connemara Marble symbol

CONNEMARA MARBLE

Ireland's unique gemstone from the unspoilt wild Atlantic coast Find out more
Dublin Street Lamp

Steeped in the history of Dublin and Ireland

Did you know all the old street lamps around us in Dublin are adorned with shamrocks, the emblem of our Emerald Isle? The further you go from the city the fewer shamrocks there are. Dublin is chock-full of lovely stories and details like this. It inspires our craft everyday, as do all Irish symbols and stories.

We love where we are from. The Dublin of 80 years ago when the company was founded was a very different place to what it is now, but we are still here. Dublin is full of great pubs, vibrant culture, great shops, amazing food and the best Guinness in the world. This is the city of the world famous Trinity College, Stephen’s Green, beautiful Christ Church and historic Dublin Castle, where our pieces are hallmarked.

Irish stories, symbols, art and heritage have always been our passion and our inspiration, ever since that long ago visit to Killarney, which was the inspiration to create beautiful jewelry pieces based on Celtic and Irish culture. When you buy Solvar, you are getting a little piece of historic Dublin and Ireland, from our family to yours.