What is heirloom redesign?
All of us have jewellery we don’t wear lurking in the dark corners of our jewellery boxes. Broken, the wrong size, given as a gift but not your style, inherited but a bit out of date. These are precious items both in material and sentiment. An heirloom resdesign is how we reuse jewellery.
In many cases, it’s possible to reuse jewellery, including the metal and gemstones, to create a new piece. An heirloom redesign requires extra care and attention and often more labour than creating a new piece of jewellery. This is a specialized service that we provide because we recognize the symbolic value of these heirloom pieces. We believe that providing this service is important, not only for sentimental reasons, but also for conservation reasons.
Here's How We Do It:
If you’re looking for an initial quote, get in touch with us via our quote request form, fill out the details and attach a picture of the items you’re looking to repurpose.
Or, it you’re ready to get started, book an appointment with us either in-person or online. To prepare for this appointment, please bring the jewellery you’d like to reuse and any ideas or images you may have regarding what you’d like to make. For online meetings, please send us detailed pictures of the jewellery to be reused prior to our meeting.
During this consultation we will refine the design details and perform an initial examination of the jewellery to be repurposed. Afterward, we will provide you with a meeting summary and quote for the project, along with up to 3 initial mock ups for the design.
Once the quote has been approved we will send you link to pay the deposit. We will then require the jewellery that you would like to reuse on-site. Once you drop it off or send it in to our studio, you will receive a text and photo document confirming receipt.
Our expert goldsmith’s will then complete a thorough examination of your jewellery to ensure that, on a surface level, it is safe to move to the next step of carefully removing any gemstones. At this point we will confirm that we have your permission before we harvest the gemstones.
Once the gemstones are removed, we will the provide the final inspection to ensure all the materials are good candidates for repurposing. Sometimes prongs or metal can hide defects in gemstones that are not apparent until after they are removed from their settings. If a gemstone is not a good candidate for reusing we will suggest alternatives. Sometimes this may mean additional costs to the original quote.
Once all of the materials are confirmed, we will share digital mocks ups with you via email (called CAD renderings) and, together, we will explore and refine the design(s) that speak to you. Any necessary tweaking of small details can still be made at this point.
For classsic wedding bands, instead of CAD renderings, we will show you metal or wax carved examples.
Once you approve the final design production begins! Your design is cast in metal and finished by our expert goldsmiths with careful attention to detail. Then your gemstones are expertly set.
After approximately 6-8 weeks – your beautiful piece is ready! The outstanding balance will be settled at the time of pick up or delivery. Any left over metal and gemstones will be returned to you, packaged and cleaned.
Answers to some frequently asked questions…
- The best metals to reuse are yellow gold and rose gold. Platinum can also sometimes be reused.
- We cannot change the colour of your gold.
- We can only re-use gemstones in good condition sized 2mm or larger.
- The best gemstones to reuse are diamonds, sapphires and rubies.
- If you would like to reuse gemstones set in a metal we can’t reuse, we can harvest the gemstones and then use the metal as credit or it can be returned to you.
- Heirloom re-designs can take up to 6-8 weeks but the turnaround time may be quicker for less complicated designs such as classic wedding bands.
- An heirloom re-design requires more labour than creating a piece from new materials. For this reason, please be aware the labour costs will sometimes be larger than the material costs, especially if the new piece you are creating does not require a lot of metal.
The Meaning is the Value.
This is our philosophy and the motivation for all of our work. We know the true value of jewellery is its sentimental value, not its material value.
We are one of the only jewellers in Toronto who offer the option to reuse jewellery and have many years of experience in this specialty. The process to reuse jewellery is more labour intensive and can increase the risk of potential complications. Some may take in your gold for credit but that only reflects the material value. We know that it is important for both sentimental and environmental reasons to, when possible, physically reuse the same metal.