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Bringing old or damaged jewellery back to life

The goldsmiths at Savoy’s Jewellers can refresh your existing jewellery for many more years of enjoyment

Do you have old or broken jewellery collecting dust at the back of your jewellery box?

Village Media spoke to Nicholas Rosset, Goldsmith and Gemmologist with Savoy’s Jewellers, about how to unleash the potential and create pieces that you will love for years to come.

Q: Is it possible to bring very old and damaged jewellery back to life with restoration? Can you restore most pieces or do they have to be in a certain condition?

Nicholas: In most cases, yes. Generally speaking, if the jewellery has had regular maintenance, it could be completely restored. If the piece has worn down, for example, to a point there is foundational structure missing, it becomes a more complicated procedure.

Even if the piece is beyond restoration, let us look at it. We might be able to get creative with a solution to make it work. For example, if the bottom of a ring is unsavable, perhaps the top of the ring could be converted into a pendant.

Q: How does the restoration process work?

Nicholas: Each piece would require a goldsmith’s assessment to determine the best course of action along with a quote.

Usually, we start by reconstructing any areas that have worn down. Then we rebuild settings that hold gemstones in place. If there are gems missing, we source the best match available and re-set those stones. Once the structure and stones are restored, we proceed to engraving, finishing, and polishing. Once the item is complete, we recommend a formal appraisal to accurately record all of the details and value for future reference.

Q: What are the differences between restoration and remaking?

Nicholas: Restoration refers to saving as much of an existing piece of jewellery as possible and building it back up to a condition that is robust enough for the type of use the owner specifies. In some cases, the owner wants to wear an old family heirloom for a wedding and never again, other times, the item will be worn daily. We have to plan for the type of use.

Remaking/redesigning is when we use the materials such as the precious metals and gemstones from an existing piece of jewellery to make a completely new item. Sometimes we start from scratch to duplicate the original piece and other times the owner feels nostalgic about the materials but wants to create something that represents their own style and taste, so we design something new which incorporates the old materials.

Q: What do you enjoy most about restoring and remaking jewellery?

Nicholas: As with all jewellery, there is a history and sentimental attachment to these items. Heirlooms are not usually about the intrinsic value but rather the history and emotion associated with the piece. Being able to preserve part of a family’s history is very special. The excitement in the eyes of our client’s when they see their heirloom restored and wearable is unlike any other.

To learn more about restoring or remaking your own jewellery, book a free consultation at Savoy’s Jewellers to discuss your goals and options.

Call them at (705)253-9703, check out their website, follow them on social media (@savoysjewellers), or stop by in-person to one of their two locations: 290 Queen Street or The Station Mall in Sault Ste. Marie.