Re-cycling. Excerpt from ‘Hidden Gems’

We all have one of those drawers…the one containing odd bits of jewellery that  have been inherited and earrings rendered superfluous by losing the other half on a camping trip.

Despite being a jeweller all of my life, and making sure my earring backs are only capable of being undone with the force of an elephant and a pair of pliers, I still managed to lose the odd one during parties and concerts. However there is still hope for all those singletons; gold is easily recyclable and gemstones easily reset!

Once a piece has been chosen to be recycled it is checked for quality as to not melt a rare collectable and then, if hollow, perforated to prevent an explosion in the melting pot – gold is a lovely material but not at 1000 degrees down the back of your neck!

Gold can be melted and made into an ingot in the workshop. An oxy/propane gas flame, crucible and cast iron ingot-mould are used. Pouring is always slightly nerve-wracking: it requires a careful judgement of temperature and a steady hand. Once the gold has cooled, the ingot can be shaped

diamond-mulitcolour-scatter-ring-high-res2-copy-768x498to create the piece of jewellery. This is done by rolling it though a series of polished steel mills to get the desired shape of decreasing sized holes in a steel plate, this takes a lot of strength, especially with thicker gauge wire. After being worked, the dull brown colour as a result of oxidation is removed with weak acid to restore the attractive yellow glow.

One of my favourite types of re-cycling is using the materials that have an interesting story or sentiment. It is really rewarding to create something to suit an individual from jewellery that has a special meaning to them. This ring for example was made from the customers Grandmother’s diamond.


Reshaping history into a form that gives joy every time its worn, maintains or increase the value, and its environmentally friendly, is a very rewarding part of the recycle story!