In an ideal world all the jewellery we receive or inherit would be loved and worn with passion. What happens when we don’t feel that way about something special?
Remounting diamonds, remodelling rings and redesigning jewellery can breathe new life into special pieces. As jewellery remodelling specialists we know a thing or two about what to consider. Read on for some of the advice we share with our clients.
1. Don’t rush in! Live with your existing piece for a while before you make any changes.
Simple things to consider before changing your ring:
- Does it flatter your hand?
- Does it work with your individual style?
- Is it wearable?
Fine jewellery is stylish, not fashionable. A ring which initially seems dated may be a classic. And, if he’s spent weeks agonising over the perfect engagement ring – a ring remodelling project may be a little hasty. Spent a bit of time wearing your piece in its current guise. Time to consider things mean if it does needs a face-lift for you to enjoy wearing it, you’ve thought it through properly and won’t regret that decision at a later stage.
2. Do your research – and keep it realistic!
If you aren’t a Grace Kelly, or other celebrity – if you have a 50pt centre stone then seeking inspiration from 1.5 carat rings is ultimately going to leave you disappointed. Likewise, if you want a 1cm wide band, and your fingers are short and broad, your hand may look a little like a cartoon. Ensure that your ideas come from what you’ve got.
3. Find somebody you can trust
There is no shortage of people out there who will do a beautiful job of remounting your stones. Whether you go with a designer for a specific look or to a high street retailer, most businesses offer ring redesign services. For complete peace of mind, make sure you see some examples of their work – physically. Referrals are often really good in this area, ask your friends if anyone has had a good experience. Look for testimonials. And if they promise the earth and discount heavily in front of you – I’d look elsewhere. Cheapest is not always best here. A good jeweller will behave a bit more like a good hairdresser – listening carefully, yet warning you if your desired look is not going to suit your hand/blow your budget sky high/be wearable on a daily basis etc.
4. Agree your brief before you start
However good your jeweller or designer is, they aren’t mind-readers. If you haven’t been clear then they are working to a blank slate, which is not as much fun as it sounds. Make sure you have agreed how your piece is going to look, and what it is going to be made from. Have it documented, to ensure that expectations are agreed for both parties.
5. Ensure you are clear on the cost of your masterpiece
Having your own stones will save you a lot of money on the cost of redesigning your ring. But it still has to be designed and made, and people want to be paid for this (I know – unbelievable)!
A new mount designed from scratch and hand made and finished may still set you back a few thousand pounds if you’ve decided that you want diamonds everywhere. Designs already in existence which can be tailored to your materials will cost less.
Bad news for the more green minded out there – while metal from existing rings can be recycled into new ones, it is very expensive to do. Why? Well think of your gold as a cask of fine red burgundy. You want it bottled, but the vineyard which made it is long gone. So you go to another vineyard which can bottle it – but they will have to run a hole bottling process to make 48 bottles of wine. They can’t mix it in with their other wine, because it could spoil the whole vintage. So they have to do it from scratch, cleaning before and after to ensure the wine is unadulterated. It is the same with any metal. It is easy enough to do, but time consuming which will be factored in to the final ring costs.
You can still ask for fairtrade gold, to be absolutely certain you can trace your metal.
From A(u) to P(t)
It shouldn’t be an intimidating journey to get something you love, made into something you can wear daily. And it can be very exciting. Leah, one of my lovely clients has kindly allowed me to share her experience..
Leah was left this ring by her grandmother. It had a lot of sentimentality attached to it, but little meaning for Leah, it was too big and she doesn’t wear a lot of yellow gold.
She’d had plenty of time over the years to wear it, and when she recently got married, she decided that she wanted to keep her grandmother’s diamonds, and have a whole new ring to set them in.
Over a coffee Leah outlined what she was looking for – sleek, modern and white. I had a few setting options in mind, which I sent through, and then took four samples for Leah to have a look at and try on. In addition, I had a closer inspection of her diamonds, just to make sure they were suitable for remounting. The stones are known as old cuts, very popular at the beginning of the 20th century. They are having something of a resurgence at the moment, with a lovely sparkle that has a more vintage feel.
I was pretty sure I knew which ring she was going to choose, although I also knew that a couple of other designs might ‘tempt’ her a little. The simplicity of a three stone rubover setting, in platinum was the favourite – and the ring went into production. The diamonds came out of the old mount, and were given a very thorough clean!
My favourite time in my role is when I get the hand the piece of jewellery over to my client. This was no exception, the image gives you an idea of the sparkle in the diamonds, as usual this is a pretty exceptional piece of jewellery. The beauty of the ‘Ariele’ setting is that a platinum rubover setting makes the stone look larger. Leah has ensured her grandmother’s diamonds are part of a new family heirloom, to treasure and enjoy every day.
Have a look at some of our remodelling case studies to get more of an idea of what can be achieved on different jewellery projects.