a blue topazte and diamond ring

From Granny’s Brooch to Your Statement Piece: Breathing New Life into Heirloom Jewelry

a blue topazte and diamond ring

Custom Jewelry Design

If you’re like many of our clients, you might have an old jewelry box tucked into a dusty corner of your closet. Maybe it contains a brooch from your great-grandmother, your old class ring, a necklace from your mother with a broken clasp, or some other sentimental treasures that hold memories of a loved one but aren’t fit for everyday wear.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone! In our experience, many of us have or will inherit jewelry that holds great emotional or sentimental value, but its design might feel outdated or simply not your style.

What if you could transform that heirloom into a dazzling, modern piece that reflects your unique personality? Something that you would be excited to put on every day? 

Great news: That’s where Sindur Fine & Antique Jewelry custom jewelry design can help. When it comes to breathing new life into old jewelry—whether it’s turning your grandmother’s chunky brooch into a delicate pendant necklace or your great-aunt’s ornate ring into a stackable set of minimalist bands—we like to think we are the experts. Much of this is due to our knowledge of fine jewelry and creative design skills, but it’s also our respect for your heirlooms and the care we take for the metals, gems, and memories that make up your most treasured pieces.

Transforming an heirloom into a modern piece is a multi-step process that requires ongoing communication and an open mind. Ready to learn more about our process? Read on to delve into the exciting steps of this transformation! 

Step 1: Consultation - Unveiling the Potential

The journey of reinventing a piece of jewelry always begins with an initial in-person consultation. We’ll want to look at the piece and talk with you so we can better understand the materials we’re working with as well as the history and sentimental details behind the piece. We understand that heirlooms represent more than just material value—they hold stories, emotions, and memories, and our utmost priority is honoring that legacy.

In addition to your heirloom, you should bring any other jewelry that you don’t wear to this consultation. Many of our clients don’t realize that we can frequently repurpose stones and metals from other pieces and include them into your new design; plus, you might find that the old costume jewelry in your closet might not be costume at all.  One of our clients came in with a box of what they had deemed “junk”—and we discovered a vintage brooch set with several Old European Cut diamonds. A gold mine!

We’ll also ask that you do a little homework before your consultation and think about the following questions: What styles, metals, and gemstones do you like? What other jewelry do you wear day to day? How do you need the piece to function in your life? We find that it’s helpful to create a Pinterest board with the types of jewelry that you like—that can help guide our discussion.  Then, the magic happens! You’ll discuss your vision – a modern pendant, a stackable ring, maybe even earrings? The jeweler will listen intently, offering expert advice on design options that consider your style, the heirloom’s integrity, and even budget.

Step 2: Hand Sketching the Dream

Here’s where the magic starts to happen. After we take stock of your existing pieces and your personal style, budget, and materials, we’ll start discussing options for a new design (a modern pendant? A stackable ring?). This is also when we’ll create hand sketches that capture different design possibilities based on our discussion. We think of hand sketches as springboards for your imagination; they are quick and easy to create, and allow you to visualize your dream piece. We’ll continue to make any necessary tweaks to our hand sketches before moving forward with a design you love. 

a drawing of a fish on the wall
An example of one of the rough sketches we will create with a client to narrow down options for the final design.

Step 3: CAD Design - From Sketch to Blueprint

You’ve chosen your favorite design—now it’s time to refine your vision! At Sindur Fine & Antique Jewelry, we rely on experts who are well-versed in computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a precise 3D model of your chosen design. This digital replica allows you to see your piece from all angles, ensuring every detail aligns with your expectations. It’s also crucial for the crafting process, providing the blueprint for casting and setting the final design.

During this phase, we can do up to three revisions to the CAD model that can tweak prong placement, stone spacing, and other adjustments that don’t dramatically change the design we’ve agreed upon. We can also create a wax mold of the design, if you want to hold a model of the piece in your hands. 

a blue diamond ring with diamonds around it
A CAD model of the selected design.

Step 4: Casting and Setting the Final Piece

The most exciting part: Bringing your vision to life! Using the approved CAD model, we’ll create a mold of your new piece and meticulously cast it in your desired metal. Once the casting cools, we’ll get to work setting your gemstones. Whether it’s the original stone from your heirloom or a new one you’ve chosen, each gem will be carefully placed and secured in your reinvented treasure.

Professional photo of the final ring, featuring a large aquamarine stone surrounded by small diamonds.
The final, finished ring!

The best part? Holding your newly transformed heirloom in your hands. By now, this piece is more than just an accessory—it’s a blend of your cherished past and your own unique style. The process of redesigning a treasured heirloom piece allows you to honor your distinct family history and legacy while wearing a piece you truly love.

Ready to embark on this exciting journey? Schedule a consultation with us today