Perhaps you have inherited a piece that you don’t wear and which you would like to re-model, or you may have items that you no longer wear and would like to melt and re-use in a new piece.
In order to assess and proceed further we would require your items in store to check the metal, measure and ideally unset any stones to check for damage and their suitability to be re-set.
RE-MOUNTING YOUR STONE(S)
There are certain risks with the re-modelling of old jewellery. Whilst we take the greatest of care, on occasion stones may break – even diamonds can fracture - and we accept no responsibility for this. All re-modelling is carried out at the customer’s own risk. If a stone does break and you would like to replace it then we will quote for this on a reasonable and case by case basis. This includes stones breaking during re-setting.
Once stones are un-set they will be assessed for existing damage and their suitability to be re-mounted. If there is any doubt on what the stone is, we have expert stone merchants that we can ask to give their opinion* on the identity of your stone. If you would like certified confirmation of the identity of your stone then we can instruct the services of a gemmological laboratory such as Anchor Cert at the Assay Office in Birmingham. This will incur a charge and can be quoted for if required.
Once the stones from your item have been taken out we can proceed with our bespoke design service and trade in the old gold or platinum against the purchase price of your new item.
*Please note this is an informal opinion only.
MELTING GOLD TO RE-USE
If you would like to melt existing jewellery for re-use in a new design then there are some limitations to what can be done with your metal; we are only able to create a rod, wire or flat sheet of metal from a melt – it is not possible to use it for new castings due to the intricacies of manufacturing the parts of a piece of jewellery. We could, however, use it to create a new shank for a ring.
The risks of remodelling from a melt are:
• If the gold is not refined and re-alloyed to 9ct or 18ct then sometimes it can test at a lower carat grade than expected at the assay office (hallmarking office) due to impurities in the alloy affecting the overall carat.
• 9ct, 14ct and even sometimes 18ct gold may need to be refined and re-alloyed. This is due to the various metals used to alloy the gold changing through the years. We cannot know what has been used. Some alloys are brittle and cause the gold to crack; this is particularly true of 9ct rose gold, the copper in the alloy makes the metal very brittle. Silicone is also used to aid the casting process in metals under 18ct and this may need to be removed.
We will advise on the best course of action on appraisal of your gold.
With all melts there may be some slight imperfections on the surface of the metal in the final finish. This is all part of having a unique piece of jewellery handmade from your metal.
This is an ancient method of casting metal using the cuttlebone of a squid. The bone is used to make a mould for the item to be cast. This can be done by pressing a template into the mould or carving into it. The gold is then cast into the mould. It creates a very rudimentary casting that will require hammering and filing to achieve the required finish but is a method that has proven very successful when using our customers' gold to cast deep and unusual shapes that would be otherwise impossible to make using sheet and wire, for example signet rings.
THE RE-MODELLING PROCESS
• Avanti will book in the gold by weight and discuss the design, usually a band ring to minimise metal loss.
• If metal needs to be refined then this can take up to two weeks as the metal is broken down using commercial grade acid. The process is slow may have to be done three times. The fine gold that has been extracted is then re-melted and alloyed to the carat required.
• Metal is then passed to one of our goldsmiths for construction and setting if necessary, then to the assay office for hallmark.
• The item is returned to Avanti for the final quality check and polish and collection.
GUIDE PRICE (example prices from April 2021)
Basic melt and remake: No gold added, including hallmark - starts at £250
Refine and re make: No gold added, including hallmark - starts at £425
Cuttlefish cast: No gold added, including hallmark starts - at £395
Bangles would be a little more and all quotes are subject to assessment by the goldsmith.