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Bespoke Ring Remodel Made from Sentimental, Preloved Jewellery

Remodelling inherited jewellery in my Cornish studio.

It often feels as though I’m the keeper (and sharer) of the world’s best kept secret. Are you ready to hear it?

The beginning of your luxury, bespoke jewellery journey is waiting in your jewellery box. These unworn, damaged, or unloved pieces, that have perhaps been passed down to you or hold sentimental value, are just itching to be remodelled.

Remodelling jewellery involves creating new designs from no longer loved, older pieces. Gemstones are removed and metals melted down, ready to be crafted into a new style that you’ll treasure and wear.

It’s a collaborative journey, and we’ll chat about the features of your jewellery that you like and don’t like, and I’ll put design options together for you. I’ll remain sympathetic to the original design if you’d just like a subtle update, or I can have fun offering you a bolder design that feels brand spanking new.

Remodelling existing jewellery has so many benefits:

  • Recycling metals and gemstones is far more environmentally sound than buying new.

  • It can dramatically lessen the cost of commissioning bespoke jewellery, as the metals and gemstones have been provided.

  • It’s guilt free - ever felt a little guilty looking at the inherited jewellery that you just don’t reach for? Remodelled jewellery retains all of its sentimental value while finally being worn and cherished by you.

  • Longevity, the remodelled jewellery is expertly made, with secure settings and durable metals. Meaning one day it’ll be in fantastic condition for when it comes to passing it on again.

Remodelling an Antique Agate Ring

A collection of gold jewellery ready to be remodelled

K came to me with a selection of old and inherited rings, including a beautiful agate ring which had been given to her by a relative. Although she loved the captivating deep orange stone, the claw setting often caught on things, which put her off wearing it. K hoped I could help in updating the style of the ring, showcasing the stone in a more modern, durable, and jumper-friendly piece.

A sketch of jewellery designs made with procreate

I provided K with a selection of hand drawn designs and she chose her favourite. Then it was time to begin the remodelling process in the jewellery studio!

Process - Remodelling Old Rings to Make a Contemporary New Ring

Dismantling Sentimental Jewellery

The first step was to separate all of the components: carefully extracting the stones from their settings and removing any parts which weren't yellow gold. The beautiful agate and small turquoise stone were then thoroughly cleaned and kept to the side until my new design was ready for them.

Gold jewellery that has been dismantled for remodelling

Melting Existing Metals

Next I melted the existing metals down, into a brilliant molten pool of gold. That's poured into a graphite ingot mould which gives me a rough rectangle of gold to work from. Melting all of the metal together to begin with ensures a consistent colour and gold carat across the final item.

Making New Wire

A new wire is created from the ingot by heating and rolling it, elongating the gold bar and making a narrower, neater wire to work with. I then cut sections of the wire: using one section to make a bit of sheet to form the stone settings and melting all the rest (and the offcuts from the settings) again to make the wire that'll form the band of the ring.

Soldering Settings to the Band

Once the band and the settings for the stones were made, I soldered them all together so they would seamlessly join with a durable, smooth finish. Here’s a video of me and my trusty Smith Little Torch on the soldering block!

Setting the Stones

Almost there! The finish is in tantalising sight when the structure of the ring has been formed and the gemstones are ready to be placed. I set the beautiful deep orange agate stone which was the centrepiece here, and a small turquoise stone from a sentimental piece of jewellery K had when she was a child. The contrast in size and colour of these two stones is just gorgeous, and the simple D shape band highlights them as the stars of the show.

The low profile, asymmetrical ring is a special amalgamation of three items which although loved for their story and family value, weren’t worn. A creative and personal approach to their update meant K now has a stunning, contemporary ring to cherish - and wear often - while still connecting her to her loved ones.

A huge thank you to K for trusting me with this bespoke jewellery commission, I have fallen so in love with this agate and turquoise ring, and K is super pleased with her new (from old) ring!

Have you been inspired to start your own bespoke jewellery journey in Cornwall?

You can book a relaxed, no-obligation chat with me via the contact form at the bottom of this page. Or click below to find out more about how the commission process works.