October 19 2009
Lucia van der Post
Recycling not only makes ecological sense but it also makes the soul feel good. So get out your antique jewellery, pieces that you’ve inherited or that you don’t think quite “work”, and get them turned into something you’d love to wear. Bloom & Co, based in Bath, operates a splendid system for remodelling your old pieces, using post and email. You send them (by pre-paid registered post) the pieces. They send back charming drawings of what could be done. I sent a boring sapphire and diamond line bracelet and back came several different options for recycling the stones – drop or cluster earrings, a pendant and a ring. All would be hand-made using 18ct white gold which meant that it wasn’t all that cheap (about £1,815) but it did mean that I’d get three separate pieces that I’d love to bits.
Then there’s Robinson Pelham, which has a small appointment-only cult shop in Pimlico which, besides making pieces to special commission, also offers what it calls an “old to new” service. It will apply its talents to anything from a little-worn tiara to a more modest brooch. It likes the customer to bring the piece in and discuss what could be done in the shop itself. Recently it took a traditional Victorian three-stone diamond ring set with old cut diamonds in yellow gold and transformed it into a splendidly modern statement ring by setting the old cut diamonds in white gold and surrounding it with an oval pavé diamond set border. Prices vary depending upon the workmanship and the additional jewels or gold that might be needed, but they start at £500. On sale at the moment is a ring with a pink tourmaline set in yellow gold which costs £3,800, but if the customer provided the tourmaline, Robinson Pelham would charge £3,000 for the workmanship and extra materials, depending on the complexity of the design requested.