Would you like to remodel your old, unworn, broken, or sentimental and inherited pieces of jewellery into something new?
Have a look at the FAQ’s below to find out all you need to know about jewellery remodelling and redesign. If you’ve any further questions or you’d like to make an appointment, please get in touch.
What exactly is jewellery remodelling and redesign?
Your jewellery can be altered, for instance turning a single earring into a pendant or making a brooch into two pieces of jewellery. Alternatively you might want to have it made into something completely different. I can melt down your old pieces and use the metal and precious stones in a completely new design.
I’ve lots of old/broken/inherited/unworn jewellery, can it all be reused?
Yes, so long as it’s all hallmarked. Your jewellery may need to be refined prior to reuse.
Refining is a chemical process where pure gold is separated from any other metal it’s been alloyed with. Precious metals are alloyed to give them different properties such as colour, carat and strength. 24ct is pure gold, all other metals are alloys. For instance, 18ct gold is hallmarked 750, this means it is 75% pure gold. It’s then alloyed with other metals to make it harder), e.g. copper or palladium (24 carat is so soft that if it was a ring, it would squash). Copper gives rose gold its colour, whilst palladium produces a white gold. You wouldn’t mix white and yellow gold together if you were melting them down. Instead you’d refine the metals back to pure gold and then alloy them again to whatever colour and carat you require. Refining also removes any harmful metals that may be present in old jewellery, e.g. cadmium, lead and nickel. New regulations strictly govern the use of these metals in modern jewellery as they are harmful to health. An XRF report from the Assay Office can also show whether these metals are present in your jewellery. Refining gives you peace of mind that your metal is not contaminated, won’t be harmful to health and will hallmark to the purity you expect. We can discuss this in further detail when you come to see me.
Can I re-use any metal?
Hallmarked silver, gold and platinum can all be reused. Different carats of gold can be mixed together. White gold is a little trickier to re-use due to the composition of the alloy, but it can be done. If different colours of gold are to be reused, they’ll either need to be refined first or used as separate elements in a two colour piece.
What about the gemstones?
Your gemstones can be removed from the existing pieces of jewellery and set into the new piece or put aside for you to use at a later date. Other new gemstones can also be added if you so wish.
Will I need to add any extra gold/silver etc?
You might, it will depend on the new design and how much metal you had to start with.
What jewellery can my old pieces be made into?
Your metal can be made into anything you like, rings, earrings, pendant etc.
What exactly has to be done to reuse my old jewellery?
The process can differ, depending on what type of metal we are reusing. I firstly need to dismantle your jewellery, cutting out any solder seams that would contaminate the metal when it’s melted down. If your metal needs to be refined, then this goes to a specialist refiner, where it is treated with acids that turn your metal into a pure gold sludge! This is then filtered and the pure gold melted down, before being re-alloyed into whatever colour or carat of gold you’d like. In the studio, I will melt your metal down in a ceramic crucible using a gas torch. Once molten, the metal is poured into an ingot mould. It’s allowed to cool, is cleaned of any oxidation and then I’ll begin to roll it into sheet or wire, using a rolling mill. Once the metal is the right shape or thickness, I’ll then fabricate, cut, form and manipulate the metal into whatever piece of jewellery has been decided upon. Alternatively your metal might be cast into a new piece of jewellery using the lost wax casting method or into one of my existing designs. It will then be polished and set with any stones. Engraving is also available.
What will it cost?
There are so many variables involved in remodelling your jewellery, that I’m not able to give a price until I know exactly what metal you have and what you’d like it made into. Once we have a design I can accurately cost for the time involved and any extra metal/stones that you might need. Each remodelling job will be completely different and so will the costs involved. As you might expect, the simpler the piece the less expensive it will be (if you already have enough metal). If you have a budget you want to stick within, please tell me and I will let you know what is possible. There’s no obligation to go ahead, so please do give me a call and make an appointment if you’d like to explore this further.
How does it all work?
Make an appointment to come and see me and bring along your old jewellery. I’ll have a look at it all and tell you how much you have and in what carat (9, 18ct etc). We’ll have a chat about what you might like, your preferences, inspiration for a design, your budget etc and I’ll come up with some ideas. Once we have a design, I’ll provide a quotation and you can decide if you’d like to go ahead. Payment is made in full at the time of order, or a payment plan is agreed (usually 2 or 3 instalments). Bespoke commissions and remodelled pieces are non returnable and non refundable as they are made to your precise requirements.
What are the time scales involved in having this done?
Once a design is agreed upon, 6-8 weeks should see your piece completed. If it needs to be done sooner, let me know. It can sometimes take longer if I’m busy (wedding season and the run up to Christmas), but again, this can be discussed.
Will it save me money?
It might, but it really depends on what you decide to have it made into. The processes involved in reusing your old jewellery are time consuming so unless you have a lot of platinum, 18 or 22ct gold, the time involved will generally outweigh the value of the metal. Using your metal in a piece from one of my collections or choosing a simple design are the best ways to keep costs down. I generally advise that you only re-use your metal where it is of sentimental value. However it’s also very environmentally friendly to reuse and recycle.
You might like to find out more about bespoke jewellery design