Stone cold groove


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I’m happy to announce that after about a year of development, I’m finally able to offer the Leonids on my online shop.  I’m very proud of these bad boys.  I’ve talked about them at length on earlier posts so I won’t go into another frenzied rant about how badass this ring is.  In fact, I think the word is out considering I’ve sold a lot of preorders and its been hard to keep up.

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Check out the website for more details and ordering information.  Thanks to all of you for being so patient as this one was put together.

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Back to custom skull ring land.  Had two projects I wanted to share.  The first was for Joe, a marine and all-around badass pirate based out of Florida who wanted an aged, darkened, tribute to Keith Richards.

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That’s a King Skull frame with a lot of custom features around the brow and mouth.  I’ve also added some custom script.  In many ways, the King Skull is already a tribute to Keith Richard’s skull ring (his original done by Courts and Hackett) since the profile lines were inspired by their original design.  They don’t look much alike, but what my design borrows most is the philosophy that the skull ring should look its best from the 3/4 or even side angle and the rings lines should all be driven by the shape made by the crest from the temple up to the top of the skull.  This is how the King Skull was designed.

The Voodoo rings are a different story altogether and I just recently completed a customized Big Voodoo for a graduating high school senior.

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I’ve done a few class rings and I love making ’em.  Why settle for one of those shitty looking dome rings?  They’re expensive as hell and every asshole in the world from middle school on up through graduate study has the same exact look to their academic jewelry.  Welp…happy to say that this bad boy is a one-of-a-kind.

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Don’t forget, the skull ring is a symbol for intellect and our human ability to reason.  Perfect for a scholar, right?

Anyway, I’m back into the wax dust for a few projects that promise to be pretty outstanding.  Things are slow-going right now as I’m working on a number of long term projects that are eating into my time a bit, but shoot me an email at if you have any ideas you want to bat around.

And one last thing….and please don’t take this the wrong way because I love every single one of my clients…but for fuckssake please leave your email address when you fill out the forms on my website.  At least five times a week I get “Hey, let me know if I can get one of these rings in a size 12.  Thanks!”  No name.  No contact information.   So to answer THAT question, I guess I’d have to say “No, you can’t.”

Just leave your email, okay?  I’m not going to spam you.  I don’t have the time or energy to put together any kind of newsletter.




I’ve been drying out in the South China Sea for a few weeks.


I know I haven’t been in touch and I’m down about 3 days worth of emails from clients but if I don’t get away from my bench every once and a while I get touchy.  I came through Atlanta just long enough to put the finishing touches on some Xmas orders and get them off to FedEx before spinning up through DC to New York for a weekend of shutting down some of the finest bars in the world.


What’s most exciting – to me anyway- is the first batch of Leonids pre-orders are finished and rolling out.  8 in total.  A few have already shipped and I have one or two waiting on some extra special touches.


Hell yeah.

I’m more proud of this ring than anything I’ve done before and it’s not even up for general sale yet.  My web guy Mason just won a design award too so I know his rate’s going up.   But hang tight because I have new stones on the way from the mine and I’ll be running these for 500 even on the website once I get up and running.



That’s a Full Right Hand set for Chef Robb.

It was great to get emails from clients over the Xmas break who’d received their rings and were already rocking them at booze-filled nog parties from the States to Singapore.

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A client shot.  That skull ain’t mine.  

I’m not going to get started on the difference in quality between these rings and the standard men’s turquoise hardware you find elsewhere.  Best word to describe the Leonids: “solid.”  Solid backed, solid feel, balanced, bold, and featuring the biggest cold slab of straight-outta-the-mine turquoise you’ve ever seen.


I’ve also got a line on a few black onyx stones for these as well.  I’ll be offering these on the site too once I can confirm that A: The stones are the right quality and B: They look badass.

In the meantime, I’m going to be wearing out Dead Rabbit, Death and Company, Pouring Ribbons, and a few other haunts in NYC.  Stay tuned for a bit more on that score and some updates on the Leonids sale date.



In my hands I hold the ashes……

It’s taken me months of design, carving, redesign, recarving, and redesigning yet again, but I’ve finally finished what I consider to be the ultimate square gemstone ring.  The Leonids master cast is finally finished and set with kingman turquoise straight outta the mouth of the mine.


I’ve talked about the design in the previous post, so I’ll just get straight in to how proud I am of the final product.

She’s going to be for sale in January, though I have sold a few pre-orders that will be shipping in the next three or four weeks.  Running at $495 a pop, she’s sporting a full 28mm in height and features two hand-carved skulls on either side of the shank.  We can knock a tooth out or two if you want them to look banged up or we can round out the eyes for more of a sugar skull look.  Room on the foreheads of each for initials or whatever else you want.

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On the back of the shank, I’ve put in a single eye and a bone crossbar.  Kind of morbid?  Maybe, but this bad motherfucker is the sculptural embodiment of some of the themes of Blood Meridian (probably my favorite novel)  and I wanted it to be as elegant as it is brutal.


Like I said before, I’m getting the stones direct from the mine, so turnaround time is a little slower than usual.  I’ve sold 6 of my first batch of stones in pre-order and I’ll probably sell the next group just as quickly before these finally go up on the site in January.  Color and inflection of the stones will vary and I’d caution you guys to be careful with these.  They’re tough as hell, but turquoise is a more delicate stone and if punching things is a regular part of your routine, I might suggest ordering a Jupiter from me instead so you don’t crack and screw up these gorgeous baby-blues.  Or at least take it off first.


Blood Meridian: The arrival of the Leonids

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I’ve finished my companion piece to the new Gentleman ring.  This one has been a long time in the making and really just hinged on me finding a place that could supply the right kind of gemstone.  I had very specific requirements for this and I’m happy to say I’ve cracked it wide open.

Ladies and germs, I’d like to introduce you to the Leonids.  
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I bought a square turquoise stone ring on an indian reservation outside of Tucson once and I thought it was just hte coolest freakin’ thing I’d ever seen.  The ring wasn’t made very well and broke after about a year of daily wear, but I always loved the shape of it – the flat sculptural planes around the bezel caught the light and the stone was a pale blue, not that childish cloud-blue that you see in so many of the crappy turquoise rings you can buy online.  The stone was so pale that in the sun, it took on a ghostly effect.

I spent a lot of time looking for its equal and…yep, you guessed it…..nobody made ’em.

Unless you like this shit:

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Just like I was complaining about on my previous post, there’s no care at all taken with how the stone and the ring interact.  It’s a dinner plate filled with crappy stone just clumsily soldered onto a tiny band.  Why don’t you just glue the f’king thing to your finger?  Or how about duct taping a poptart to the back of your hand?

So enter the Kingman turquoise.  This stuff is coming out of the Cerbat mountains north of Kingman Arizona.

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I’m working directly with the miners and processors on this one.  They’re producing a 18x25mm turquoise rectangle in the exact color I wanted.  Not cheap, by any stretch of the imagination, but they had exactly what I was looking for.

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And it’s not like its easy to mine.  Or work with.  It’s a delicate stone compared to onyx or agate and so much of the stuff you see on the market is fake or artificially dyed for the morons who like their jewelry to look like its made of plastic or think it makes perfect sense to be able to buy a ring for 45 bucks.

Anyway, access to the right stones is going to let me finally create an improved version of the ring I’ve always loved.

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There’s a skull on either side and a femur bone connects the two across the back of the shank overlapping a single eye.

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She’s not small either.  That stone is 25mm tall, so this is a nice, comfortable, but substantial ring.  To me it embodies the real west.  The Blood Meridian west.  All american made with legit AZ turquoise mined and processed a mere seven miles from the mountain.  And then shipped to yours truly to make THE square turquoise signet that we all deserved, but could never find.

The Leonids and the Gentleman.  Yep – my two gemstone offerings.  They’re both rolling out this Fall and will go $495 to your door, at least for a little while.  The Leonids may be a limited run since the supply of stones is..well…limited.

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Cleaning out my jewelry box


I’m a jade guy.  I wear a lot of it.  But I USED to be a turquoise guy and I have to say it’s still my favorite stone to set in a skull ring.  But I have too many pieces I don’t wear anymore and something’s gotta go.

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So I’m going to sell these two puppies.  Polish ’em up, clean ’em up, and sell them.  The Big Voodoo is a size 11.5 and that Little Voodoo is a size 9.  Solid sterling, of course.

Email me at or message me on twitter @MT_Maloney and let me know if you want to buy one or both.  $125 for the big one and $100 for the little guy. Call it $210 for both. Shipping on the house.  I used to wear the big one on my ring finger and the little guy as a pinky ring.  

Pinky rings are badass anyway and a skull ring pinky ring is almost drop-the-mike time.

Apologies to my international clients, but I can’t send these overseas with shipping costs.  

Stones > Beatles

D has been waiting and waiting for me to finish his full-custom silver turquoise gemstone ring and I’ve finally been able to deliver.  He had a specific design in mind and was inspired by my latest jade ring that I hacked up a few months ago with some Hong Kong jade.

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D’s not a jade guy, but we set out to use a massive oval-shaped turquoise stone as the centerpiece.  We designed the shank together and the result is badass.

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Doing a ring like this is always a dialogue between the stone and the silver.  We want the stone to be the star, but without a big gob of silver behind it, it isn’t a ring worth wearing.  You can buy all kinds of shitty gemstone rings with turquoise or whatever else in craft fairs all over the country.  The one thing they have in common: they suck.  Hollow-backed, shitty metal, etc.  Many of them are made with SILVER WIRE for the love of god.

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Just like my skull rings, this all goes out the window.  Solid backed, cast as one piece, and heavy, this is a grown-up’s ring.

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D was super patient and also contributed more than half of the design process.  Symbols and the bezel cup treatment were all him.  Very cool product.  I’ve had about a half-dozen emails since posting the facebook photos of this sucker asking about cost.  This is full-custom and takes a lot of work to create at this detail level.  The stones are individually selected by me based on the client.  So yeah, they’re expensive.  As I’ve made more of these, I’ve been getting better at balancing my time and production costs with the price.  I’ve finally figured out that these should be  $1000 with shipping included to your door.  I’ve made ’em for less in the past, but I’m shuffling priorities and these take SO much attention, I have to make some changes if I’m going to continue doing pieces like this.

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I’ve had a few more pieces flying out of here.  A few class rings, actually.  Who wants a custom skull ring for a highschool ring?  Cool people.  That’s who.

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That’s Jessica’s custom Big Voodoo.  Did a little voodoo in simliar form around the same time.

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The skull rings I wear typically don’t have gemstones, but that’s my own thing.  I have a huge-ass piece of jade around my neck and another on my left hand, so I don’t need anymore stone bling.  But there’s no doubt – it looks awesome on the right design.

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Last two projects I wanted to mention:

First was another Janis Joplin themed ring for Chris.  Screen shot 2014-11-09 at 3.10.16 PM

Then a Mystery Cave combo.  I put this up because I don’t actually sell a ton of Mystery Cave rings.  Which is a shame.  It’s one of my favorite designs.  The people who want them and wear them are fanatical about them and I love that.  It’s a special ring for a very specific type of style.  I dig it with the men’s torque because it makes a similar shape to the balls on either end of the bracelet.

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Sugarskull me

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I’ve started a new sugar skull’d Little Voodoo for Will.  I still love working on these and they remain the core of my custom work.  So many sugar skull rings completed and each one is totally different.

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Each one is different because after I finish the base wax, the clients approve a markered-up version of the design based on their input.  So it really is a collaboration.

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Not much to look at yet, but I don’t want to start carving until we get this locked.  Big updates soon, so stay tuned.


A basket of skull rings. And other crap.


I’ve had a bunch of new projects rolling in. A lot of really cool custom jobs that I’ve wanted to put on the blog. Problem is, there are just too many. You get to a point when you can either produce work or just talk about it and my clients would rather me produce. My turnaround time for custom pieces can be a month or more as it is, so we’re not exactly talking about ride-the-lightning speed here.

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Ive finished up Michael’s custom sugar skull with turquoise eyes and a heart with thorns placed into the forehead. I don’t know why this one was so damned hard to photograph.

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The heart was dimensional like the thorns and the result is very cool, I think. Took a while to carve up, but it was worth it.

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I also wanted to show the progress on Dee’s skull ring. We’re going to try Tiger’s eye for the eyes on this one. eh? Should be cool, right? Those stones are either going to make this one of the most badass sugar skulls I’ve ever done, or they’re going to supremely suck and we’ll have to go with something else.

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Speaking of taking a while to carve up……Danny’s been waiting for me to finish this fucking thing for what seems like eons.

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I freaking love these square turquoise signet-style rings I’ve been churning out, but they’re a bitch to make. I think I’ve ranted on this subject before. The solution, I suppose, would be to get the turquoise miners to make every turquoise stone the exact same size. (a simpler solution would be for me to make a template that fits most stone sizes and try to make adjustments as needed, but that just sounds DUMB.)

I’ve just started another project which promises to be cool as hell.

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Tiki ring. yeah.

I have to apologize to a few would-be clients out there. I’ve been turning down a lot of work lately because I’ve had so many custom projects on the table. Please don’t take it personally and feel free to send me requests a bit later (sometimes its all about timing) and I’ll jump on them. Now this doesn’t apply to the dolphin jumping over a heart-shaped crystal people……screw you and the unicorns you rode in on.

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To add to the stack, I’ve also been asked to write a book about skull rings. You read that right. Actually, it sounds like an intriguing idea. Why exactly does one wear a small metal version of their head on their finger? And if you’re going to do that, who should make that little metal version of your head and how should they make it? It’s going to include some history and cultural discussion as well and I’m hoping to include some comments from my favorite skullsmiths from around the world.

So stay tuned.

Tat’s all Folks


I’ve been working a long time with no posts, I know.  Sorry I’ve been away.

What have I been working on?  Harold’s ring.  I’m glad to say it’s finally finished and it might be one of the best pieces I’ve ever done.

The progress started quite  a while back…

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I started working on a wax for this piece many weeks ago, but the damn thing just wouldn’t take.

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I just couldn’t get the details that we needed.  I decided to go digital with it and I modeled the sucker for a 3d wax print.


So here’s the result.  The thing looks freakin’ perfect.

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Cast in sterling silver, the ring has all of the detail I wanted.  I was able to refine the sketch and get all the right contours in place.

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I’m shipping this on Monday.  I think Harold will be pleased.

I’ve also knocked out another turquoise signet ring.  This one is a spec piece – not for sale.  I’m working on another like it for Danny.

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You might recognize the stone.  Truth is, I do a lot of these for people.  Not a skull ring….well not all of them, anyway.

Remember this one?

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And also this?

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Yeah, I love making these but they take FOREVER to block out and carve.  Each one is custom carved to fit the stone from a raw block of wax.  This means no base mold and no shortcuts.

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This is why they’re expensive, it’s why they’re one of a kind.  If you are curious about getting one of these made, it’s gonna take time.  Also, don’t expect to pay less than 400 bucks – maybe more depending on how big the stone is and how hard it is to find. Turquoise and other gemstones with beautiful spiderwebbing like this are rare birds.

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More cool pieces coming up soon, so stay tuned.