Redesigning Jewellery: Creating Future Heirlooms From Past Treasures
One of the amazing things about jewellery is that a million years in the ground lead to a moment when gold and stone come together and continue that journey with you. The stones and metal can withstand just about anything they encounter. We've seen and have been redesigning jewellery that has been through floods, spent years lost in drain pipes, gone through house fires, been lost on driveways for years before being recovered, and more. With just a little cleaning, the pieces looked good as new. Don't take this to mean we're encouraging to put your jewellery through a series of extreme tests.
What doesn't always withstand the test of time is the design of the setting. While the stones and metal remain in good shape, the setting can look dated and tired. This doesn't mean that the pieces you inherited from your great aunt are doomed to spend eternity locked in your jewellery box because they don't match your current style. It simply means that it's time for you to take the elements you inherited and make them an heirloom with your personal stamp. Is it time to consider redesigning the jewellery and having it updated?
The auction house, Bhonam's, recently reported that approximately £50 million of jewellery that's inherited from loved ones gets locked away and is never worn or admired again, which is just sad. Not only is it depressing to think about how that jewellery never gets another chance to sparkle, but never getting it out means that current owner loses out on feeling connected with a lost loved one each time they put it on. Getting the item redesigned breathes new life into the jewellery.
All About Redesigned Jewellery
Redesigning heirloom jewellery means that we take a piece you currently own and use parts of it to design a new creation. You get to choose how extensive the redesign is. Some people opt to incorporate a portion of the original setting into the new design, others have the entire piece broken down and redesigned into something that looks completely new, others opt for a mix of old and new, while still others choose to use the heirloom stones and mix them with new stones. When it comes to redesigning heirloom jewellery, the sky, and your imagination, are the limit.
Reasons to Take Past Treasures and Have the Jewellery Redesigned
Jewellery isn't meant to sit in a box for all eternity. It's meant to be taken out, worn, and enjoyed. That's not going to happen if the piece doesn't match your personal style. You'll get far more enjoyment from those heirloom earrings and rings if you take them to a good jeweller who will take the heirloom pieces and turn them into something equally beautiful that you'll wear. And don't worry about the action potentially hurting the person who gave you the jewellery, they would far prefer that you have the pieces redesigned than have it never seeing the light of day.
Some people are extremely sensitive to certain types of metal, making it impossible for them to wear the heirloom pieces they've inherited. Arranging to have the pieces redesigned allows you to change the type of metal used in the setting, allowing you to wear the pieces without breaking out in hives.
Turning an ordinary piece of jewellery into a statement piece is another great reason to have your heirloom jewellery redesigned. For example, if you have inherited some pieces you love from someone, you can have the pieces redesigned in such a way that they both suit your personal style and reflect your loved one's life. Each time you wear the newly redesigned jewellery, people will comment on the pieces, providing you with a chance to tell them about how important your loved one was to you.
Sometimes you'll fall in love with a piece of heirloom jewellery only it's not the type of piece you usually wear. For example, it may be a brooch or a ring, while you prefer earrings and necklaces. Redesigning the jewellery into something you do wear allows you to enjoy and show off the stunning jewels.
Is it Time to Redesign your Jewellery?
One of the hardest things many people face when it comes to getting a piece of heirloom jewellery redesigned is knowing if the timing is right. They worry that others who loved the person they inherited the jewellery from will be upset when it's redesigned. There is no easy clear-cut answer to the question of is it time to redesign your heirloom jewellery. We do feel that if you're worried about how someone will react, you should sit down with them and discuss the situation.
In most cases, everyone agrees that it makes more sense to have the jewellery redesigned so it will be worn than to keep the current and undated/unliked design hidden in a jewellery box. Some people are even surprised to find that the people they worried most about telling often have the most suggestions about different types of designs.
Different Ways to Redesign Heirloom JewelleryWhen it comes to redesigning heirloom jewellery you have lots of different options. Your choices include:
- Creating a completely different look or even type of jewellery
- Incorporating different metals/gemstones into the current design
- Completely changing the style
- Taking one piece and turning it into multiple pieces of jewellery
- Creating one large statement piece out of several pieces of heirloom jewellery
How to Go About Redesigning your Jewellery
While many people have a pretty good idea of the type of redesign, they want for their heirloom jewellery, don't panic if you're not sure how you want the final piece to look. Haruni Fine Jewels will help you through the process. Feel free to share stories about the jewellery, bring in pieces that you've purchased yourself, and anything else you think would help inspire a great design. We'll work closely with you and come up with different design possibilities to your heart tells you we've created exactly what works for you.
If you already have a notebook full of designs you've created, bring the notebook with you and we'll go through it. Hopefully, your ideas are perfect, and we can go straight to work. If there are functionality problems with your designs, that's not a problem. We'll work with you and carefully tweak the designs until we have helped you create a look that's pretty, functional, and closely mirrors your original plan.
Once everyone is happy with the design, your jewellery is sent to one of our expert jewellers who breaks down the piece. Then we'll get to work creating the setting you're dreaming about.
If you're going with a complete redesign, our jeweller typically removes all the gemstones where possible before melting down the metal. The same metal is poured into moulds and gently worked into the new shape you dreamt of. If you haven't requested any changes to the gemstones, they're mounted into the new design and your redesigned jewellery is finished and ready to be shown off.
In some cases, the redesign may require reshaping the original gemstones. This is completed by our specialist stone polisher.
If the redesign means there is leftover gemstones or metal, we can always explore ideas for that too. Some people opt to have the gemstones recut even if the new design doesn't call for the work. The new cut and new shape help to restore some of the gem stone's original lustre, making the stones really sparkle when you wear the jewellery.
The amount of time it takes to completely redesign your heirloom jewellery depends on the end result required.
Value of Redesigned Jewellery
It's difficult to determine how much and what value redesigning adds to heirloom jewellery.
If you're worried about whether redesigning your heirloom jewellery will alter the value, there are two courses of action you can take. To determine if the heirloom jewellery has any provenance, you can take it to a reputable appraiser (who usually charges for the appraisal) or you can take the jewellery to an auction house (often for free and will spot something of intrinsic value).
Most people who decide to have their heirloom jewellery redesigned don't opt for the redesign because they want the jewellery to be flashier and have a higher value. They redesign the jewellery so that they feel a stronger connection to the piece while wearing it. The biggest difference in having the jewellery redesigned will likely make is if the pieces are insured. The best way to determine exactly how much the newly redesigned jewellery is worth is by taking it to an experienced jewellery appraiser and having them complete a written appraisal that you can submit to your insurance company.
Redesigning Your Jewellery At Haruni
Even if you're only thinking about having some heirloom jewellery redesigned, you should contact us about the process. Feel free to bring your heirloom jewellery into us for a health check which will also provide you with the perfect opportunity to discuss the redesign process. There's little we enjoy more than admiring well-made and treasured heirloom and helping you turn it into something you love to wear.