When it comes to family heirlooms, jewellery is often right up there with the most prized of our possessions. Jewellery has a way of capturing so many memories of the people that wore them before you. Whether it’s grandmother’s engagement ring or mum’s pendant that you have fond memories of them wearing, the mere sight of them draws up fond memories of the wonderful women in our lives.
When we pass on these heirlooms, we pass on not only jewellery but the stories of previous generations. At Harlequin Jewellers, we have the absolute privilege of helping countless clients preserve these memories. Here are our top tips for taking care of your precious jewellery heirlooms.
- Check its original condition Like anything made of metal, sadly, jewellery can deteriorate. Especially if the piece is a ring that has been worn every day over many years, the wear and tear can be substantial. So, the first step for looking after a family heirloom is to closely examine its condition.
Before you wear it, consider if it’s strong enough. Are any claws surrounding gemstones looking thin? Does the piece tend to ‘catch’ on clothing when it’s worn? Are the gems scratched or chipped? All these can be signs to visit a jeweller for some help.
- Commission a replica If your jewellery heirloom has deteriorated beyond repair, this doesn’t mean the end. Instead of dooming nanna’s old engagement ring to become a scrap of metal in a drawer, consider renewing it by commissioning a replica.
We get to see incredible heirlooms in my line of work, that have magnificent stories. Some being 50, 80, even 100 years old. To be able to replicate these rings for another generation so they can wear their memories every day is humbling, and really captures what jewellery is all about.
- Consider a remodel As times change, jewellery trends change. Though this doesn’t mean that an heirloom should remain in a box, at risk of being forgotten (or avoided) by the next generation. If you gawk at the style of a ring your family has left you, but still want to wear it somehow, remodeling is an excellent choice.
Our best tip to design a beautiful piece is, to begin with, the gemstones in your original heirloom, and let those guide the design of the piece. Aim for a design that’s simple and timeless, which you’d love to wear not only now, but for decades to come.
Special thanks to Liz Hengge for this lovely article.
Please visit their website: http://www.harlequinjewellers.com.au/
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