Restoring vintage jewellery

Jul 1, 2021 | Advice and How-To's, Gemstones | 0 comments

Many of us have vintage jewellery sitting in our jewellery boxes that may not have been used for years. Perhaps because it’s a family heirloom, it’s broken or we have just fallen out of love with it. However for most jewellery especially gold or sterling silver pieces it’s never too late to revamp and modernise. Here’s how to restore vintage designer jewellery back to its original condition.

It’s best to take your jewellery to an expert such as a jewellery maker, a gold or metalsmith and plan what you’d like to have done with your piece/s. Whether it’s your engagement ring or an old necklace most pieces of jewellery can be recycled and restored with ease.

Cleaning your jewellery
We stock the Connoisseur’s range which we recommend for at home jewellery care for gold and silver jewellery. For silver for example you may use a silver polish and a polishing cloth. It quickly removes tarnish and restores shine and brilliance to sterling silver jewellery.

Restoring Vintage Designer Jewellery

  1. Identify the jewellery type: A quick trip or send-in to a jeweller will help you determine if the piece is fine or costume jewellery.
  2. What needs repair?: Once the jeweller has determined the nature of the piece, they examine the item’s condition and refer to the original design of the item.
  3. Repair the item: Repairs vary from piece to piece, but we’ve compiled a list of common repairs and services for your reference below:
  • Ring sizing: You can’t wear a ring unless it’s adjustable, or the right size. The jewellery can usually size a ring 2 sizes up and 2 sizes down with no issues.
  • Stone repair and replacement: Stones in vintage pieces can be scratched, chipped, or entirely missing.
  • Prong repair: The little strips of metal that hold your stones securely will wear or break off over time.
  • Refurbishing: Refurbishing refers to the general restoration of the item’s metal.
    • Gold Plating: To re-plate an item, the jeweller must remove all of the original plating on the item via polishing.
    • Enamel:This “jewellery paint” is used by designers to create colourful designs, or highlight specific details.
    • Oxidation:This chemical process naturally occurs with sterling silver.
    • Polishing:Scratches, rust, and scuffing will occur over time, and in order to fix the surface of your item you’ll need to have it polished.
    • Appraisal: The value of designer jewellery is based on its materials, rarity, and authenticity. A trained gemologist can provide an assessment of value by examining the materials, stones, and stamps on the interior of the item.

For more information on the products we sell phone 1800 308 383 or email