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Sentimental, broken jewellery recycled into stunning statement rings.

Sentimental, broken jewellery recycled into stunning statement rings.

I'm sure most people have some broken jewellery lurking at the back of a drawer, but sometimes it can be difficult to know what to do with it. It may hold sentimental value and evoke precious memories long after it has ceased to be wearable. It's not an option to get rid of it and repairing it may be costly for a piece that is no longer your style, but leaving it unloved in a drawer is such a shame. For this reason I am often commissioned to turn old jewellery into new treasures that preserve the precious memories, while creating new ones.

Karen and her husband came to my Chester jewellery workshop looking for a special piece to celebrate her BIG birthday. They wanted something designed especially for her, incorporating the metal and gemstones from some old jewellery. Karen had been given a bracelet by her parents on another special Birthday. After losing some stones from it she had the useable sections made into earrings, but then lost one of those too. She therefore had just one unwearable silver earring with a stone missing, but the memories it evoked were so precious to her that she wanted to find a way to wear it again. Alongside this she brought in a gold ring with several stones missing and an almost worn out shank. Again it had huge sentimental value and she wanted to use the metal and remaining garnets.


After discussing different jewellery items Karen decided that she would like a pair of stacking rings that could be worn together or each on its own. She liked the organic design of my pieces and wanted to add in some little leaves that I had used in other designs. It was then over to me to produce several sketches for her to choose from. She liked the layout of this one and the way the colours in the stones were brought together.

I melted the gold ring down to form little pebbles that would become settings for the stones. The colour brought a lovely warmth to the rings. I then melted down the earring and added extra silver to form a good sized ingot. After that I needed to roll it through a rolling mill (a bit like a mangle) lots of times to make the dimensions smaller. Then it was pulled through a draw plate, with decreasing sizes of holes, until I had formed round wire of the correct size. Finally I was ready to bend the ring into shape using various pliers and then solder on the little leaf shapes that I had cut out by hand.

It was important to make sure that each of the 2 rings had a beautiful shape and could be worn individually on a daily basis, but they needed to sit together to form more of a showstopper piece.

Karen was delighted with the results. She now has 2 rings that she can wear and remember some precious times, plus she's imbued it with her own Birthday memory. She might one day pass the rings down to her daughter, but she also has the option for both her and her daughter to wear a ring each right now, making them even more special as they create memories together. It's amazing what can be created from some broken jewellery, so what do you have sitting in your drawer?

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