· By Rachel Dazey

A Guide to Heirloom Jewelry Redesign

I often think of myself as a weaver. Rather than yarn or spider silk, my medium is metal and gemstone. I see these pieces connecting people, connecting them to ideas, aspirations, loves and meaning.

When clients bring inherited pieces in for a redesign, the meaning is often inherent in these treasures. Using metals and stones that once belonged to a loved one brings new life to these everlasting materials. It is a beautiful way to honor your  history and the story of how you came to be. It's significant to me that the metals and stones of our life live beyond us, they can be melted, reimagined, reformed, and set anew. I am free to create without boundaries knowing that in the forge of fire all can be turned into raw material once again. 


Pictured above are 3 pieces we pulled stones from for these rings. We are using the rest of the gold to create custom cuff links.

Vintage pieces or jewelry you don't wear any longer are great materials to use in your heirloom redesign. You can bring any pieces you have to your design consultation. We test and inventory the materials - metal qualities, diamonds and gemstones, and weigh the pieces we receive. 

I've had many clients who bring family jewelry to me with no idea what they want to design, they just know they want a piece that gives them a tangible connection to someone. That's where the magic starts for me. I ask a lot of questions and together we use the feelings you want the piece to invoke and the shapes you're working with in order to create the structure of your new jewelry. 

I have a lot of favorite stories when it comes to creating bespoke jewelry from vintage pieces. Not so long ago, I made three matching rings for family members from just one ring that belonged to their someone special. I've turned a tie pin into a necklace, used family diamonds to honor legacy in a new engagement ring, melted childhood charms into wedding bands, and reworked wedding sets with new intentions. 

In the ring below I took 3 rings - the woman's original engagement ring, a band her husband gave her before passing and her mother's engagement ring to create one new ring ring that incorporated the diamonds and gold from her heirloom pieces. 

In terms of cost and time, most heirloom redesigns work like our custom design process unless we're doing a simple form change, i.e. tie pin to necklace. 

There are some unique circumstances in working with heirloom materials, so I created this Heirloom Redesign F.A.Q. page to answer some of them.

As always, you can reach out to us with any questions you have about this process!


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