Dang! I wish Ginanne Brownell Mitic had spoken to me for this New York Times article about redesigning old jewelry. Redesigning is one of my specialties and I have interesting stories to tell.
One of my first redesigns took a 60-point diamond (just over half a carat) and made it look like a 3.5 carat diamond. I recently showed some people in the jewelry business the high-res photo of the result and I had to point out the additional diamonds that created the illusion, because that’s how effective it was.
This year, for my gorgeous client Helen, I turned an old engagement ring …
… into a new engagement ring.
I’ve even done redesigns of other jeweler’s redesigns. Gorgeous client Susan wanted some pearl and diamond studs combined with her birthstone — amethyst — for a new pair of earrings, but wasn’t thrilled with the work of her local jeweler. I had to agree that this effort was pretty basic.
I turned those basic earrings into statement earrings.
In Mitic’s New York Times article, the question of how to find a jeweler for a redesign comes up. Parisian jeweler Lorenz Bäumer suggests getting recommendations from people you trust and researching the names thoroughly. I want to elaborate upon that. Make sure your research includes seeing numerous examples of the jeweler’s redesign work. A lot of people talk a good game, but they can talk and draw you sketches and talk some more … and you can still wind up with something awful. Not every jeweler has the style and skill to make your special dream come true. I’m telling you this from personal, consumer-end experience! Before I went into the jewelry business, I had someone who was widely recommended as an expert on redesigns do several for me. After extensive and unexplained delays, the pieces came out completely different from what was discussed. My mother’s ruby and diamond cocktail ring was supposed to be a beautiful necklace and matching earrings for my sister, but the ruby necklace in the foreground of the photo below was NOT what I was looking for.
Years after I started my business, I got around to making amends to my sister, who had worn the other jewelry once or twice out of politeness. I took the same rubies and diamonds and made her this ring …
… and these earrings.
She wears these all the time. Now that I think of it, I’ve never overhauled the redesigns the original guy did for me! My pieces were opal and people are so into opals now … I’m adding that to my list of projects for this year.
If you want a jewelry redesign of your own, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com. I promise you that you will get what you’re looking for. The only surprise will be that it will look and feel even better than you imagined!