New for Old

Editor's Choice with Lesley Williams

I’m sure there are many readers, who like me have accumulated jewellery over the years. Some of it has simply gone out of fashion and some has been inherited – but ultimately it is just sitting around in a drawer gathering dust.

A chance conversation with Danielle of Northern Star Jewellery in Newton Road, Mumbles, encouraged me to rummage around in my jewellery box, drawers and cupboards to gather together all the pieces (some literally) that I was unlikely to wear again.

My haul included bracelets, broken rings, gold charms, bits of chain and a very pretty little opal pin brooch (see pic above right). I very nearly ditched some bits of broken chain, thinking that they weren’t actually gold –fortunately I included them – just in case.

Matt, the designer and jeweller in residence recommended that I kept the bracelets as they were rose gold and wouldn’t mix well with the yellow gold. He quickly identified that I had a little under 20 grams of 9 carat gold which was worth approximately £200 scrap value. To buy new gold would cost me about £100 per gram so it made more sense to have something made for me that I would wear.

I loved the opal in the brooch, so Matt suggested including it in the new piece. I tend to wear several rings at once – a sort of mismatch of favourite rings – my late mum’s and mother-in-law’s wedding rings along with a couple of others with sentimental value. Matt came up with the idea of making five stacking rings – one that would include the little opal, and others would have the addition of some small diamonds.

The design process is done with a CAD (Computer-aided Design) package, this means that you can see exactly what the finished piece will look like (see main pic above left).

The next stage is to make 3D wax models in which to cast the gold and finally the stones are added. The finished jewellery is then sent to the Assay Office to be hallmarked.

If you have any ideas of your own regarding the design, Matt will work with you to find the best use of your precious metal.

I’m looking forward to the arrival of my rings which should coincide with a significant birthday I’ll be celebrating in a few weeks!

Northern Star Bespoke Jewellery, 79 Newton Road, Mumbles, Swansea SA3 4BN / 01792 931765




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