Is this your next heirloom?
a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.
Balancing the guilt of sentimentality and a desire for practicality creates conflict for most of us. Yes, we clear our closets seasonally and try to be thoughtful with new additions to our wardrobe. We believe in the "one new in, one old out" philosophy. But jewelry is different. It is personal and we attach feelings and memories to each piece, whether we wear the jewelry or not. It doesn’t take up much space so we don't clean out our jewelry boxes like we do closets.
“I have all of this jewelry I never wear but it was my mother’s and I hate to get rid of it.”
In the last two decades of the last century brought a change in how women acquire jewelry. With prices of gold under $300 an ounce, gold and sterling silver jewelry with precious gemstones was relatively inexpensive. Fine jewelry became a self-purchase item for women whose careers gave them the desire, and the income, to acquire a fine jewelry collection for everyday wear. Remember the ubiquitous diamond tennis bracelets and the heavy gold snake chains? Surprise, they are back!
A steady increase and an all-time high of close to $2000 per ounce, the price of gold dictated a change of style. Our wallets didn’t keep up and our tastes changed. The result, we all have a stash of gold jewelry that we just don’t wear…and won’t ever wear, even if it has cherished memories attached.
The price of gold remains high which means you may have a treasure trove of old jewelry that can be remade into jewelry pieces you will love. Create a new heirloom.
Here’s the jewelry design process I follow.
Step 1: I discuss ideas with a client exploring their jewelry style and preferences. I suggest a client find photos of jewelry pieces they like, even if it is one element of the design that attracts them. I can pull together a concept and sketch jewelry design ideas. We decide together what gems we might utilize in the design.
Step 2: Jewelry design sketches are developed into Computer-Aided Design (CAD) three-dimensional drawings that are surprisingly realistic. The design is still fluid at this point, and I may decide to make changes or do so at the request of the client.
Step 3: I determine what gemstones will be needed in the new design. I can use old gemstones or source new gemstones for your perfect new jewelry.
Step 4: Next, if there is old jewelry being recycled, I remove gemstones and sell the metals to be sold and refined. The credit for precious metals can be used to offset production costs for the new piece.
Step 5: Once all is approved, we used the CAD file to make a replica in wax of the piece. A mold is made from the wax and a casting is made in the mold. The casting is then finished, and gemstones are set. And we have a new, refreshed heirloom piece to wear for years to come.
Whether you have a treasure trove of old jewelry to be remade or you are designing a completely new piece of jewelry, you can design jewelry you will love to wear. Possibly a new heirloom.
Do you have a project you would like to consider? Let's discuss.