Antique jewellery, or even just old jewellery, can be a nightmare to the average goldsmith. Without a firm grasp of the techniques used in the manufacture of older pieces, and with no clue as to how many other well-meaning mutts have worked on it, a cherished item of jewellery can inadvertently end up destroyed or permanently damaged in the wrong hands.
Having been trained by old guys we are familiar with the techniques used to manufacture jewellery as far back as the turn of the last century. Sometimes a piece can be restored to its former glory with the careful removal of the damaged areas and replacement with metal of similar characteristics. Occasionally, however, the damage is simply too extensive and the piece must be rebuilt.
This is not a task to be undertaken lightly. It is vitally important to duplicate the original, and with the expectation that the new piece will be worn for as long. Anachronisms, such as replacing old mine cut diamonds with modern brilliants, are to be avoided, despite the newer versions being vastly easier to work with.
The piece on the left, for example, contained a multitude of random-shaped old mine-cut diamonds that, for reasons of sentimentality and style, were all to be used in the new piece. It cost a good deal more than a brandy-new ring with consistently cut and perfectly matched brilliant cuts would have, but I'm in the most sentimental business there is, and these things are important.
We are closely affiliated with the best repair goldsmiths in the neighbourhood so that the decision whether to repair or rebuild can be made in an informed manner
Upon occasion, a cherished piece of jewellery will end up damaged to such an extent that normal repair techniques are not sufficient to return it to wearable condition. In a case like this, we specialize in forensic goldsmithing: determining what the victim looked like before the accident and trying to rebuild it accordingly. In most cases, we improve the construction of the piece so that the same thing will not happen again. (This wedding band, for example, was hollow before it was run over by the car.)