It’s well known that Derry is a city steeped in history.
As such Derry’s citizens and the thousands that visit the city every year want a bit of history to keep with them.
It’s for this reason that the history range at Danny Cooley’s at Shipquay Street has become so popular.
The history collection was first launched in 2004 when well known jeweller Danny Cooley got together with local historian Michael McGuinness to produce a ring that would showcase prominent aspects of the city’s dramatic and colourful history.
From over 70 original icons, the pair painstakingly whittled the collection down to eight of the most prestigious emblems that identified this city.
These were oak leaf, signifying the Oak Grove, Roaring Meg to illustrate the Siege of Derry, one of the city’s gates to highlight Derry as a walled city, the Harp, to pay tribute to the city’s musical heritage, a submarine to signify the surrender of the German I Boats at Lisahally at the end of WWII, an icon of St Columba to symbolise Derry, a sailing ship to represent the travel to and from this city of its inhabitants and Free Derry wall, to herald the beginnings of a new Derry.
The iconic pieces of jewellery are a remarkable contribution to the chequered culture of this historic city, and a timely reminder that there were individuals here that promoted culture when the word was not so much in vogue.
The History Ring has proved to be particularly popular with Derry ex pats and many have been shipped around the world. They have been used quite extensively as wedding rings, even by people who have no blood line link to the city.
To highlight the introduction of the ring, special presentations were made to prominent local figures from the city.
These included John Hume, Dr James Mehaffey, Dr Edward Daly and Gerry O’Hara.
Danny Cooley has now augmented the History Ring with a new range of jewellery that includes pendants, bracelets, bangles, charms and cuff links. The new pieces reflect the changing face of Derry with the Peace Bridge and the Hands Across the Divide statues at the bottom of Carlisle Road..
Cooley’s have an ongoing pedigree of promoting culture in their products as part of their raison d-etre, something they are particularly proud of.
More new pieces are in the pipeline and the staff at Cooley’s never stop thinking about what new pieces could be added to the collection.
Danny is now semi retired and Brenda, his daughter runs the business, with manager Raymond Kelly who has been with the business for 35 years. The shop are particularly lucky to have such a dedicated staff on board.
For more than 35 years the business has served the people of Derry, and around the world - and it continues to grow every year.