Our clients have been telling us that they have been using their lockdown time to sort out their jewellery boxes! This is great news but if you find that your box has a few broken pieces that you thought were beyond repair, you may be surprised to know what could be done. Breathing new life into something broken and never worn is an economical way to refresh your wearable, everyday jewellery.
Here at Heirlooms, we are specialists in the repair and restoration of all jewellery whether it be modern, old or antique. We’ve been using the same workshop since we opened in 1986. Because it is based in Dorset, we’ve been able to build a close relationship with the team there and can oversee items being worked on.
We are also developing our own on-site workshop which will allow us to build our own branded collections which we’re very excited about.
If you have a repair, simply bring the item in for us to have a look at. Our team of specialists will assess work required and discuss the various options to you. Most repairs are completed within a week.
Our most common repair is chain soldering (£15-20 average thin chain) and ring resizing (£30-50 average cost). All jewellery has a full professional clean and polish as part of the repair. No additional charge is made for this and this includes rhodium plating needed during the course of a repair. For your peace of mind, all jewellery is insured from the moment it is left to the moment it is collected.
Jewellery repairs have moved on since the 1980s and, due to modern technology, much more is now possible. For instance, we have access to a laser which allows us to mend the most delicate of items in metals including base metals. This means a lot of costume jewellery, both vintage and modern, can now be repaired. Laser has no heat application so its perfect for use in enamels or mother of pearl which could easily burn. We can also use other bits of your jewellery in the repair process – for instance, we often melt old wedding bands to make new shanks.
Sometimes, if a stone needs replacing so will the claws that hold it in place. Likewise, if a shank is split, it may need a replacement rather than a solder repair. This is why you need our expertise – we always look for the best way forward for a lasting good quality repair. We also understand the economical constraints and can try to assist within a set budget.
Unlike other jewellers, we don’t offer block pricing for repairs because we feel it’s fairer to only charge in accordance with the amount of materials needed. Wedding bands are all different widths and thicknesses so no two 18ct or 22ct bands will cost us the same to repair. We reflect this in the price we charge to the customer
For more delicate restorations, we will get a full estimate to the client for all work done – you will receive a proper breakdown of work and price so you know what to expect.
As antique jewellery specialists, we try to keep all repairs and restorations authentic, and will go out of our way to keep the original integrity of a piece. For instance, we use recycled metals to keep the gold colour to match the original and we match cut & colour of replacement stones. Old-cut stones from 19thC and earlier have totally different appearances to modern brilliant cut stones. We have an amazing supply of antique stones!
Here are some excellent examples of some repairs we have undertaken:
This sapphire diamond 3 stone ring had a black centre stone with 1 claw holding it in the setting where there should have been 8. We had it cleaned which revealed that the stone was blue! We were so surprised that we queried whether it was the same ring. We recognised it was, in fact, a rare and very good sapphire! When we had the ring certified, it was a naturally coloured, non-treated Sri Lankan sapphire worth several thousands of pounds.
We recognised the stone from this chipped Victorian sapphire ring to be of exceptional colour. We had it repolished and cut to remove the chip. The ring revealed the bright blue stone with superb quality.
It’s not often we get a tiara to restore! We altered a diamond and pearl tiara for a titled lady client as it kept falling backwards when she danced at events because it was the wrong shape for her head. We took a wire mould of her head shape and reworked the original tiara band to fit perfectly. We even managed to source an antique fitted box for the client to store it in.