What happens to all the antique jewellery that is bequeathed to the next generation? In my opinion the benefactors select the best pieces which will be worn on special occasions and the rest of all the items will be overlooked and stored in a safe deposit and will not see the light of day! If you look carefully at the lots of jewellery you have stored or even better buy a Gemstone Loupe (See my November blog re How Hold a Loupe) it should be apparent that there may be some lovely old cut or eight cut diamonds with some dispersive brilliance wanting to be remodelled and refreshed into a contemporary mount. There may be also some gemset jewellery which could possibly be unset and redesigned into a lovely piece of jewellery. So make a start and you may be pleasantly surprised.
I was approached by a client who had inherited a cultured pearl necklace with a diamond clasp and asked if I could reuse the diamonds and have the diamonds reset into a fine necklace. If you revert to the clasp at top of page, there was a mix of differing sizes of diamonds which were unset. Some of the diamonds were unsuitable as a few diamonds were chipped, but my setter managed to salvage thirteen stones but my client wanted fourteen to be set, so she purchased a larger focal diamond, which I obliged. Please see diamonds prepared for setting and trace chain and clasp before mounting. I have also include a photograph of the diamond collets which have been bezel set and prepared prior to being soldered to trace chain.
Unset diamonds prepared
Layout of bezel set collets
My mounter then had to solder all the differing sized collets to trace chain and ensure all collets were equidistant and then finish off the item with a trigger clasp. I then had the necklace polished and hallmarked. The result below was a very happy client with a new bezel set 40cm necklace.