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Re-modelling vs. making new jewellery

These days we are all trying to save where we can. Luckily tight budgets don’t have to prevent jewellery lovers from investing in new, custom-made bling from time to time.

As some jewellery enthusiasts already know, remodeling an existing piece can be a great way to minimise costs while updating your collection. Whether you once bought a lovely stone in a less-than-chic setting, or inherited a family diamond, but don’t care too much for the vintage look; what you already have could be the basis of a showstopper piece at a minimal fee.

So how do we know when it’s worth tapping into our existing sparkle resources and when it’s worth investing in a completely new piece?

Here are a few guidelines to aid your decision making process:

Ask yourself where the real value lies

A pair of diamond stud earrings, for example, is almost solely priced on the stones. As long as the diamonds are of a reasonable size, the small amount of metal needed to turn them into wearable studs is a lesser factor in their value. Resetting these stones in a new piece would certainly be a massive saving compared to the value of the finished product.

On the other hand, the value of a very intricate piece often lies in its workmanship. If the stones in an item of this nature are very small or not of a high value, don’t be too hasty to pull it apart. A lot of semi-precious gemstones and even small diamonds are surprisingly affordable (often less than the labour costs to set them). This leads to a remodeled piece costing almost the same as having a completely new item made in the same style. In these cases, rather consider having a special piece made to compliment the one you already have.

Working with what you already have can help

This is where tricks of the trade, as well as the guidance of your jewellery designer become crucial money-saving tools. For example, a diamond earring can often become a pendant with minimal adjustment – something to keep in mind when one of a pair has been lost. As long as stones can withstand soldering temperatures, different pieces can be combined to form a new item. The top of an old ring can, for instance, become an accent in a brand new bangle. Don’t get too excited though, re-using settings and other parts of your existing jewellery are only viable if all parts are in a good condition and lend themselves to the style you’re after. Best is to show your designer everything you have at your disposal and let them advise you about what can be done.

Small changes can have great results

Not all remodeling needs to be radical. Often a change as simple as having a yellow gold ring rhodium plated or adding a texture to a plain bangle can make you feel like you’re wearing a brand new piece of jewellery. So scratch around your granny’s jewellery box and dust off those golden oldies. Your next showstopper might be hiding among them.

For more details contact our team of highly qualified and exclusive designers. Mark Solomon Jewellers is one of South Africa’s most long standing and sough after manufacturers of custom made fine jewellery – an authority among jewellery designers in Cape Town.