Lots of people ask us about the options for old jewellery. It’s amazing how many of us have some languishing in a drawer at home.
Maybe it’s inherited, worth a lot of money, or simply a sentimental reminder of a loved one. But it’s there, not being worn, and unless you’re taking it out regularly and looking at it, it’s probably not bringing you much joy as it should.
You then have three options:
- Sell it
- Remodel it
- Put it back in the jewellery box to collect dust for another few years
Remodelling is a fantastic solution to your old jewellery problems and it is something Burrells can assist with through our expert Bespoke Service. However, if you haven't quite decided yet, here’s some information to help you decide what to do and guide you on the cost to do so.
firstly, Get Your Jewellery Valued
We suggest that you arrange for your jewellery to be valued first, regardless of which option you choose going forward. Most reputable jewellers will be able to have this done for you but make sure they use an independent valuer.
We offer a valuation service here at Burrells. We use an independent valuer called The Guild of Valuers & Jewellers, who are the UK's leading specialists in professional jewellery valuation & registration services. You can enquire about a valuation appointment with us, by clicking here. After you've had your jewellery valued, you'll then need to decide if you want to sell it.
should i sell my second-hand jewellery?
It’s generally true that for most items, a second-hand jewellery dealer will pay only for the weight of the gold or other metal.
Larger diamonds or precious stones may bump the price up a little, but unless it’s an exceptional piece, you’re unlikely to see much consideration given to the quality of the workmanship, design or quantity of smaller gemstones.
Generally speaking, you’re likely to be disappointed with how much you are offered. To learn more about why selling gold costs less than then you buy new gold, you may wish to take a look at our blog post on this topic, which can be found here.
If you don’t want to sell your item, read on to discover the remodelling alternative.
Remodelling Your old Jewellery
A piece of jewellery that has been inherited from a family member or someone close to us often carries a huge amount of sentimental value. However, the style of the piece might not be quite to your personal taste.
This is where re-modelling comes in – you can alter the item slightly to suit your style, while still retaining the sentimental value.
People also remodel jewellery that they’ve had for years and wish to modernise and bring up to date. They might favour a new metal type, or there might be a new design/setting that’s more popular nowadays.
Remodelling with Burrells
Here at Burrells we pride ourselves on our luxury bespoke jewellery service. Located in our Kingston Workshop, our Master Goldsmith Sarel Du Plessis is able to help you create your own dream bespoke or remodelled jewellery.
We have a blog post which explains in greater details the Bespoke Journey in store, however here is a quick breakdown of the process for you, so you can see how Burrells can take care of your remodelling needs. For the full post, please click here.
meet the design team
At your first appointment you will have the opportunity to meet with the design team and discuss all your ideas and inspirations for this remodelling project. Sarel and his team will be able to examine your existing piece of jewellery and brainstorm designs with you. From this point, you will be able to see the creative process unfold as Sarel provides rough sketches and digital CAD images.
Here you get to finalise the design and give the green light to start the remodelling itself! It can take 4-12 weeks to remodel your jewellery, depending on the design and work required. Sarel and his team will work hard to ensure the piece is perfect for you.
try on your new jewellery
This final stage allows you to try on your new piece of jewellery and speak with the design team again. Once you are 100% happy with your remodelled piece, all that is left is to finalise payment and take your new piece of jewellery home with you.
How Much does it Cost to Remodel Your old Jewellery?
Let’s get straight to the main point - how much does jewellery remodelling actually cost? It is impossible to give you an accurate figure as each bespoke piece is different, yet we can certainly give you guidance and ground rules on the costs.
The minimum you should expect to pay for having a ring remodelled is around £650 for 18ct gold and £850 for platinum. This would be for the straightforward resetting of a single diamond into a new ring mount in a different style. You might be given some money back for the scrap value of the gold in the original setting if you were happy for it not to be used in your new ring.
Items such as earrings and pendants would cost less to remake due to a smaller amount of metal needed to create the piece. In our experience, most bespoke jobs involving newly designed custom mounts will cost from £500 upwards, depending on the complexity and the type and weight of metal required.
The costs involved increase as more of the goldsmith’s time is required - design work, as well as the actual crafting, will be charged by the hour. Any meetings you have with the goldsmith to discuss the work will also be factored in. You will of course be given a quote after your initial meeting and kept fully updated throughout the process.
Remember that you are paying for a skilled craft person's time, so complicated designs will be more expensive. A good goldsmith will be able to advise you on how to get exactly what you want, including keeping cost down if that’s a priority. Sarel and his wife Stephanie help further answer the cost questions in our YouTube video below.
- Uniquely personal
- Suits you
- Worth at least as much as the original piece (and likely more).
Tips for Remodelling Jewellery
Here are a few more hints and tips to help you if remodelling existing jewellery is something you’re considering:
It’s sometimes easier and cheaper to use new gold, especially if your existing item is white gold. This is because of changes in the alloy when the gold is melted down and reused.
Some gemstones are riskier than others to work with, and there is always a slight chance of breakages. Emeralds, for instance, can be brittle, and opals react badly to heat.
Try and get some example pictures of what you would like to end up with - it will help the goldsmith to get inside your head.
Realise that remaking jewellery is not always a cheaper option than buying something new.
For a further breakdown of our tips for remodelling jeweller, take a look at Sarel's YouTube video below on the topic.
In conclusion - the main barrier to having existing jewellery remade is cost. If you believe the cost is worth the effort to obtain that one of a kind piece of jewellery or sentimental heirloom, then we cannot recommend remodelling enough!
Bespoke commissions are an expensive business, but the fact that you own the original piece/diamonds often help bring those costs down a little. It costs nothing to ask though, so please reach out to us and have a chat with Sarel about your remodelling ideas!
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