reJewel by LISA ROBIN
“Help, I have a piece of heirloom jewelry and I never wear it! I wish it were more my style…”
I heard this so much from my clients that I decided to put jewelry makeovers at the forefront of what I offer as a private jeweler. And I’m so glad I did—I love breathing new life into outdated pieces!
WHAT IS A JEWELRY MAKEOVER?
I like to call it a reJewel—the process of reimagining your family heirlooms or jewelry you are no longer enjoying into a new, one-of-a-kind treasure. Something that you absolutely love and celebrate and will wear over and over again! The beauty of a reJewel is that the sentiment of the original piece remains but lives on in a way that aligns with your personal style. And nothing sits gathering dust in a jewelry box—I believe that jewelry would be worn and enjoyed, as often as possible.
WHY SHOULD I reJEWEL?
There are countless reasons why someone might choose to redesign their old jewelry into something new—a lot of times it comes down to aesthetics (your aunt’s 1950s cocktail ring is not your style, or you’re a white gold person, not a yellow gold person, or the bauble in your possession feels straight out of Dallas or Dynasty circa 1985).
What to do with an engagement ring if the wedding is called off or in the event of a divorce? I have lots of ideas for that! The best way to move on is to reinvent your jewelry into something that celebrates you and your new life—what better way to symbolize a fresh start?
You might also be in the mindset of wanting to honor a loved one through some jewelry you have inherited from them—these projects can be very personal and emotional. I promise to treat this and all redesign projects with the utmost sensitivity—and discretion.
HOW MUCH DOES A REJEWEL COST?
Well, much like with any custom jewelry design project, the cost is determined by what you are trying to create. So, it depends. Since we will have existing materials to work with, the value of those gemstones and metals will factor into the final quote, a significant savings. To account for my design time, I charge a flat fee of $400 which is credited to the final quoted price.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Usually we upcycle the gemstones in the original piece and melt the precious metal for use in the ReJewel (we can also apply the metal’s cash value to the cost of the project).This allows us to preserve the sentimental value of the original materials. A ring doesn't have to stay a ring, it can become a gorgeous pendant, and there is nothing preventing a tennis bracelet from becoming a beautiful set of diamond stacking rings. Brooches with lots of diamonds or colored gems really lend themselves well to conversions—if it’s an heirloom piece, we could create multiple chain bracelets (think: diamonds by the yard) for you and other family members to enjoy! Really, when it comes to creating ReJewels, the possibilities are endless.
STEP 2: CAD DESIGNS AND RENDERINGS
This is the magical time when the design we’ve developed comes to life. Computer drawings are generated, to scale, to provide you with a three-dimensional rendering of your ReJewel. If we haven’t quite nailed it, we can tweak the design till we have it just right.
STEP 3: PRODUCTION
We use final approved CAD drawings to a make handcrafted wax mold, which happens in my studio. Then I have one of my best-in-class bench jewelers use the wax mold to cast the design in your chosen metal and set the diamonds in it. Careful hand-finishing and polishing of the design are the final steps, all overseen by my master jeweler, every step of the way. I am happy to keep you updated through the whole process.
THE REJEWEL PROCESS
STEP 1: CONSULTATION
We can meet in person at my Dayton, OH studio or via Zoom (FaceTime works in a pinch, too). We’ll review the piece or pieces you would like to ReJewel. Mate-less earrings or broken chains can be repurposed, too, and help you save a little money so bring those bits to the consult as well. Usually, I can suggest ReJewel ideas right on the spot, sketching a few concepts as we move along or showing you pictures of previous work for reference. Definitely come with some visual aids of your own and together we’ll land on a design we’re both excited about.