Jewellery Remodelling - How to redesign & recycle your old jewellery FAQ
If you have unwanted or broken jewellery, or own jewellery that you have inherited that is not your style DO NOT SELL IT TO A 2nd HAND JEWELLER! The reason why is that 2nd hand jewellery shops only pay a scrap metal value even if the jewellery is in good condition. They often do not even pay extra if the piece is diamond set! If you take or send your items to a shop that specialises in jewellery remodelling though (like RING jewellers, Brighton), it is far more economical. Yes, you will have to pay for the labour, but the finished piece will be worth far more than you pay. See below for a list of our FAQ.
Q. So which gemstones can I reset? A. Well, a general rule of thumb is anything with diamonds in is economical to recycle. As they are such a rare & valuable gemstone it is almost always worth remodelling a diamond ring, pendant, earrings, or bracelet. Obviously the sentiment of a piece is a separate issue but at RING jewellers we always point out whether the finished article will be worth more than what you have paid. Good quality Sapphires & Ruby jewellery is also worth remodelling. Emeralds are too but they are a little brittle & can chip or break when unset & reset. Larger stones are usually safer to recycle than very small ones. Although we can reset any gemstone when it comes to some semi-precious stones we do point out that the labour may outweigh the value of the stones especially if it is lots of tiny gems.
Q. What metals precious can I remodel A. Yellow gold melts very well for reuse. You could melt an old gold ring & make something new quite easily. Due to the alloys used the white metals (like white gold & platinum) do not melt quite so well. They can be prone to cracking when reworked. When a customer brings white gold or platinum jewellery to RING jewellers we remove the gemstones & then give 2 options of what to do with the metal. Firstly, if the ring has sentimental value, we can use it for a small section of the new piece of jewellery. This gets over the issues of the metal cracking but the customer knows that there is a special part of the the piece that contains their family heirloom. Alternatively, we can supply new metal & deduct the value of the old setting. This frees up more options of metal. So if a customer has a small budget they could have a ring made in 9ct white gold regardless of what metal they have brought in to us. This also gets over the issue of someone that owns a yellow gold ring but wants to end up with white gold.
Q. Can you turn yellow gold into white gold? A. Although this is possible, it is usually done on a larger scale at specialist refining centre. In a smaller workshop setup the labour to carry out this process would far outweigh the value of the precious metal. At RING jewellers what we usually do (as mentioned above) is offer to make a small detail of the new jewellery that contains the old gold. Or alternatively use the old setting as part payment.
Q. What is the difference between jewellery remodelling, jewellery upcycling, jewellery restyling, jewellery recycling? A. To be honest, they can mean pretty much the same thing. Be aware though, that jewellery upcycling & jewellery recycling does have a big overlap with craft projects like making a necklace out of coke ring pulls! Many of these terms are new but jewellery remodelling seems to be winning the race of most relevant name for this process.
Q. What jewellery is not worth recycling? A. Silver melts well but has such a low value compared to gold & platinum that the labour usually costs far more than the finished jewellery is worth. The same applies to low quality or semi-precious tiny gemstones.
For an example of why jewellery remodelling is economical take a look at the RING jewellers 'Jewellery Remodelling' page.