Beards expert insight: how you can lease new life in to old jewellery

If you've got an old family heirloom or a piece of jewellery hanging around at your home, here's why remodelling it into something new might be easier and more affordable than you thought…

One of Cheltenham’s iconic independent shops, Beards jewellers creates and remodels jewellery and watches in its shop and workshops on the Promenade.

Speaking to SoGlos about why you should consider leasing new life into your jewellery; how much gold is worth, and how you can redesign your jewellery from as little as £300, creative director of Beards, Sophie Cudworth shares her knowledge in this expert insight.


About the expert – Beards Jewellers


Creative director at Beards in Cheltenham, Sophie Cudworth oversees everything that is created in house. Having worked at Beards for more than six years, Sophie has 12 years of industry experience.

Spreading the word about Beards’ bespoke service, and giving clients the chance to play a part in their jewellery remodelling process, Sophie gives SoGlos an insight into the world of jewellery, explaining how remodelling is actually much more affordable than you might think.

For more information, visit beards.co.uk directly.


What jewellery services can Beards offer?

We really pride ourselves in problem solving. We approach bespoke jewellery on a case-by-case basis, depending on what the customer wants. There isn’t a job we won’t do, so if we can’t do aspects in house, we’ll even outsource to get that work done.

Our remodelling service starts from as low as £300 or even less if you have gold to use and we are one of the few places on the high street where you can be fully involved with designing something completely bespoke for yourself. It’s not often in life that you can tailor something or pick exactly what you want from your clothes or jewellery.

What can Beards do to bring dated jewellery up to date?

I think there’s a large call for revamping things. I love antique jewellery because it has so much personality and it’s often really well made. In the last 10 to 15 years, the industry has really shifted to computer aided design (CAD) and what that means is we can create virtual 3D designs and print them to make casts. It’s very easy to visualise what you’re going to get.

A lot of antique pieces are made in the traditional manner which would be with a drawing first, then they would handmade all the components and pieced them together. Here at Beards, we can do both.

With antique pieces that customers are bringing in, sometimes they just want to make them more wearable. For example, something like an old brooch can be made into pendants or we even made a tiara.

How can you restore family heirlooms or sentimental pieces?

You can polish up the metal or replace the shank, it doesn’t have to be a case of completely taking it apart, it can be just about modifying what is there.

It’s very much about whatever the client wants to achieve. Last year a client bought a necklace at an auction, it had real provenance but had just been sat in a safe because it wasn’t the client’s style. We redesigned it into a really contemporary necklace using yellow gold.

What advice can you give someone who’s nervous to change a family heirloom?

We can take it as slow as customers need to be. Some clients can be shown one drawing and they just want to go for it and that’s lovely. Others need a bit more to help them visualise what their jewellery is going to look like.

We also don’t have to unset the stone straight away to create the designs. It is helpful to unset it and certainly required once we make something, but during the design process, it’s non invasive. We’ve even had a client sit in our workshop whilst we made something for her once!

Why would you encourage someone to lease new life into some jewellery rather than selling it?

When you’ve had something that’s lasted in a family line for a long time, it’s great to keep the story going and alive. You can then pass on the jewellery to your children.

From an ethical standpoint, it’s really nice to work with stuff that’s already in existence. You’re not creating more, you’re reusing! That’s the beautiful thing about gold and gem stones, they are reusable. Gold can just be melted and reused – it’s effectively recycling.

The experience of remodelling a piece of jewellery is so much fun! I think that some people may not realise that it costs the same as buying something new. You can make something here for the same price that you’d buy it down the street. If you’re working with your own metal and stone, you’re only paying us for labour.

Beards offers bespoke jewellery gift experiences, can you tell us about that?

This is something we’ve been offering for a few years. It’s really nice when someone gives jewellery as a gift but people are much more adventurous when they can design it themselves. You can give someone the gift of designing their own bespoke jewellery.

A few years ago we saw a huge rise in people cashing in gold, is this still the case?

We don’t buy in scrap but sometimes people have lots of odd gold earrings for example, which they don’t want to recreate but instead, want to use towards a new design.

The gold price is very high at the moment, so if people need a quick financial fix it makes sense. However, there’s a lot more scope to come to Beards and use it for more jewellery. I had a client a few years ago who had so much gold, he didn’t have to pay anything for his redesign.


For more information, visit beards.co.uk directly.

© SoGlos
Tuesday 24 September 2019

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