Instead of sharing photos of a summer vacation (which I'm not taking this year), I'd like share photos from my latest restyling adventure. This collaboration included so many pieces that I'm posting them on 2 blogs. I’ll cover the ‘simpler’ projects in Part 1 and share the more elaborate transformations in Part 2 of this jewellery re-design blog.
Earlier this year, our client “spring cleaned” her jewellery box and brought many fine pieces to our studio to assess and revamp. Together, we carefully inspected her jewellery, tested their karat gold content and confirmed the sparkling stones as diamonds, sapphires and other genuine gems. We then spent hours brainstorming restyling options.
After careful consideration, our client asked us to resize several rings, convert a few brooches into pendants and agreed to combine several treasures into fabulous new designs.
She also decided to sell a few solid gold pieces that were broken or had an outdated style. Prior to selling her gold, we carefully extracted all the diamonds and fine gems for use in future projects. All jewellery restyling costs were covered with the proceeds from this gold sale.
Re-sizing Vintage Rings
Most of our client’s rings were a sizes 6 or 7 but she now has a signature style of wearing a statement ring on her index finger. We needed to up-size her rings by several sizes. Since one ring size consists of 2 millimeters, this involved inserting segments of matching gold into the bands and soldering them together.
Ring resizing may sound like a simple task but we had to take special considerations of the delicate gems mounted on these rings, few of these gems can withstand the heat from soldering.
Here's the inside scoop on the special considerations we took for each ring:
Mabe pearls grow inside the mother-of-pearl shell and are delicate.
We upsized this ring by laser welding the gold insert instead of soldering it.
This diamond link ring is made up of a wide, flexile gold chain.
We downsized it from a size 13 to a 9 by removing a couple of links, rebuilding the chain and trimming the sizing plate at the back of the ring.
A stunning amethyst is surrounded by a strand of natural seed pearls.
The gems were immersed in cold water as the gold segment was inserted and soldered to the back of the band.
The 2 carved tiger eye sections were carefully unglued from the ring to upsize it by 3 sizes.
Converting a Brooch into a Necklace
Today’s brooches are mostly fun costume accessories but there was a time when brooches were opulent pieces of fine jewellery made in gold with precious gems. This opal and diamond gold brooch was custom made for our client decades ago. While she loves the design, she hadn’t worn it in years because she no longer wears brooches. Time to convert it into a pendant.
We removed the brooch's back pin and replaced it with a stylish loop large enough to fit our client's favourite wide chain. Before soldering the new loop, we temporarily removed the opal so it would not be exposed to soldering heat. Once the loop was soldered, our master gem setter carefully reset the opal. The former brooch is now a spectacular pendant that our client wears often.
Continue to Part 2 of this blog to see how we re-vamped more of our client's old jewels.