April 21, 2018 3 min read

Do you have a piece of heritage jewellery that means a lot to you, but doesn't suit your sense of style? It's heart-breaking to receive a meaningful piece of vintage jewellery from a family member or friend but feel as though you can't wear it because it doesn't fit with your everyday outfits or personality.

The good news is that your vintage jewellery doesn't have to sit in a drawer gathering dust.

Today, it's possible to work with an expert jeweller to transform those heritage items into stylish, modern pieces. In fact, refreshing the vintage jewellery you received as a gift could mean that it remains a beloved part of your family for even longer.


The Art of Remodelling Vintage Jewellery

Artisans have successfully remodelled and redesigned fine jewellery for centuries, turning rings into earrings, and necklaces into intricate broaches.

The most common way to transform a piece of jewellery is to have it resized, or to reset some ornate gems that may have fallen loose over time. However, you can also choose to turn the piece into something completely new.

Remodelling family classics to create bespoke wedding bands and engagement rings is a particularly popular process. After all, turning vintage jewellery into a new piece is both cost-effective and highly symbolic. Your reworked piece will have a greater sentimental value than any off-the-shelf ring.

What to Think About When Remodelling Vintage Jewellery

Before you take the plunge and seek out a jeweller capable of remodelling your jewellery, there are a few things to consider. For instance, could you grow to love the piece as-is if you simply gave it a professional polish and changed the size?

If you simply can't grow to like the item, think about how you can transform it into something that you're capable of wearing every day. For instance, if you work with your hands, it may be better to turn an antique broach into a pendant, rather than a ring.

Do your research and find some styles you like, while acknowledging that it may not be capable to achieve certain looks depending on the scope of your piece.

If you're planning on continuing the tradition of passing down your vintage jewellery, choose a design that will work for generations to come. A timeless, simple wedding band will be more diverse than a complex ring.

Additionally, you'll need to speak to a professional about the possibilities that are available to you based on the material used in your vintage piece. For instance, items set in white gold aren't always capable of being reset. You may need to take the stones from your heritage piece and embed them in a new material.

Focus on Keeping the Sentimental Value

There are plenty of ways that you can transform a vintage piece into something new but be careful when you're working with heritage items. If you simply want to transform the look of a necklace you bought for a bargain at auction, then you can go wild with your design ideas. However, if you want to transform a piece with sentimental value into something new, you'll need to focus on maintaining some of the heritage in your original piece.

Ask yourself which elements of the item remind you of the family member that gave it to you and try to preserve those things.

It may help to speak to your jeweller in advance about similar projects that he or she has worked on in the past. This way, you'll get a better understanding of their approach to jewellery design, and you'll be assured that you've chosen an artisan that can replicate the style that's right for you.

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