Reusing heirloom and estate jewellery is not only environmentally conscientious but is wonderfully sentimental for most people.
Whether you are redesigning rings that were passed down to you, or recycling broken chains and jewellery, or hoping to refurbish pieces that you just don't wear anymore, it's a great way to create something beautiful while being economical and environmentally conscientious.
There's a beauty to the sentiment of wearing an heirloom diamond. It's story continues. It honours the past and embraces a renewed future with you.
Gemstone Identification vs. Appraisal
When our clients bring in their heirloom and vintage jewellery, they often know that the ring was Grandma's engagement ring and that it is likely diamonds. It's our job to help make sure that the stones are suitable to be reused.
Before we suggest charging for an appraisal, we take a close look at the piece with a 10x loop to look for any signs that the stone is not genuine. Often it's quality of facetting gives it away, the kind of light refraction it gives, or the quality of metal it is set in.
If there is any doubt about the gemstone, we will suggest having our gemologist identify the stone. With her microscope and vast knowledge of gemstones' internal structures, she is able to identify the gem. This is a shorter process than an appraisal, which includes pricing the replacement value of the gem, photography, and a certificate of appraisal. Appraisals are not necessary unless you are considering selling the stone, or are looking to have it insured.
Labour associated with recycling your jewellery:
- Gold Test - $5/piece
- Stone Removal - $3/stone
- Gem Identification - $30/stone
- Appraisal - $90
- Stonesetting - $30/stone
- Stonesetting small stones - $12/stone
Good to Note:
The slogan goes "Diamonds are forever", and while this is true for most, life happens to a diamond that has been worn for decades. We take extra care to look closely at every piece before reusing a stone. It can happen that there are chips on the edges or tops of diamonds that have experienced hard impacts, or have been rubbing against other diamonds (in the adjacent wedding band for example).
Below are close up images of chipped diamonds:
Small diamonds and gemstones are often used to create design accents in jewellery. For the wearer they add value to the piece without a significant increase in cost. Many vintage pieces use small stones that are cut in an older style, and have a distinctive vintage appeal.
The down side to some of these small stones is that they can be smaller than we normally use in our designs. We aim to design with no smaller than 1.2mm stones, yet some vintage pieces have stones that are 1.0mm or 0.8mm. The risk in working with this small of a size is that they are more easily lost while working with them, either when removing them from the old piece, or setting them into the new piece. In the event that a small stone is lost or chipped while working with it, we will pre-discuss the options with you to find a solution that would be best. Often these stones can be replaced at cost, and are available in a vintage cut style, called "single cut".