FAQs

Remodelling old jewellery is a relatively unknown concept and, as a result, most customers have lots of questions!  We are more than happy to go through everything with you in store but, if you would prefer to know the details before calling in, the following FAQs will answer some of your questions.

If there is anything else you would like to know, please feel free to call us 01-6710103, email us shop@stonechatjewellers.ie, or call into us in The Westbury Mall, Dublin 2.

What metals can be used?

  • Yellow gold

Yellow gold lends itself very well to being melted down and used for remodelling.  All carats of yellow gold can be melted together.  When your gold is being melted, we take great care to ensure that only your gold is melted – it doesn’t get “pooled” with anyone else’s gold.  So if a ring is made with your gold, you know that it is 100% yours.  The exception to this is if “fresh” gold needs to be added to, for example, make settings for gemstones and diamonds.

In the case of having 20-24ct yellow gold, which is very soft, we may suggest that an alloy be added to it to make it a harder metal which will stand the test of time and wear better.  This will depend on what piece of jewellery is being made – rings get bashed around on your hand a lot more than earrings or pendants do.

  • White gold

White gold, of any carat, doesn’t lend itself to being melted down.  It tends to crack, so we don’t use it for remodelling.  Nevertheless, white gold, of any carat can be valued and traded in.

  • Silver

We generally don’t melt down silver for customers, as the work involved is more costly than the value of the metal itself.  It tends to make more economic sense to work with fresh silver. The exception to this is when the silver is of great sentimental value.  In that case, we are very happy to melt it.

  • Platinum and palladium

Platinum can be melted, but the process is slightly different to melting yellow gold.  In the case of melting yellow gold, your gold is kept together, and not mixed with anybody else’s.  When melting platinum, the platinum is “pooled” with other people’s platinum.  If you are melting 5 grammes of platinum, 5 grammes will be returned after the melting process, but it won’t be the SAME 5 grammes.

At the moment melting palladium is not an option.

What can be added?

When remodelling, the aim is to reuse your gold where possible.  Nevertheless, on occasion, it is necessary to add new (fresh) gold.  This happens when settings are being made for stones – setting are very small and fiddly and it’s not always possible to manipulate melted metal as required when making them.  Or it could be that you are supplying all of the yellow gold, but the design includes some white gold.  In all cases, it’s no problem for us to source and supply fresh metal.  In addition, if you have some gold, but not enough for the new piece of jewellery, we can calculate how much extra gold you need, and source and supply it accordingly.

Similarly, when working with your diamonds and gemstones, it may be that you supply the centre gemstone, but small diamonds need to be added to complete the piece.  Or maybe you have some large gemstones and some small gemstones, but need some medium sized ones. Again, it’s no problem for us to source and supply diamonds and gemstones.  In the case of unusual shapes or colours, it may take slightly longer than usual to source the stones, but it’s always worth the wait!

Can metal be traded in?

Sometimes it makes more economic sense to trade in your gold, rather than melting it down.  We’ll be able to advise you on this, and you can decide which way you would like to proceed.  It could be that, although it’s slightly more expensive to melt your gold, you would like to do it anyway, as on an emotional/sentimental level it’s important for you.

You may have a lot of old gold, and only some of it is needed to make your new piece of jewellery.  Any excess gold can be traded in.  Depending on the carat and the weight of the gold, we will be able to confirm the trade in value.  This trade in value can be deducted from the confirmed quote, which is a lovely way of reducing the price of your beautiful new piece of jewellery.  Of course, if you would prefer to keep your excess gold, or use it for something else, that works too!

When it comes to white gold, platinum or palladium that cannot be/is not being melted, similarly we’ll be able to confirm the trade in value and deduct it accordingly.  The trade in value on silver is extremely low.

What stones can be used and what are the risks?

It is wonderful to give a new lease of life to diamonds and gemstones taken out of old pieces of jewellery.  That said, it is always advisable to hasten slowly.  When initially studying your jewellery, we will highlight any stones that are visibly damaged or too flawed to work safely with.  There is always the possibility that, although the stone looks fine in its current setting, it is only when it’s taken out of that we can see if there are any problems with it.  We will keep you informed as we progress in the remodelling process, should anything unusual emerge in relation to your stones.

There is always a risk when setting a gemstone or diamond, as it is done using force to push the metal into place over the stone.  We use an expert stone setter and, thankfully, have never had this problem but there is always a small risk.

Is my stone a diamond?

We have a diamond tester in the shop, and can test your diamonds to confirm that they are real, rather than synthetic.  In relation to gemstones, only a gemmologist can confirm the exact characteristics of a gemstone. Working as a gemmologist requires years of training and experience, and a whole array of specific equipment.

Is it worth doing?

This is a tricky question for us.  You’re the only one who really knows the answer.  We can discuss design ideas and quotes with you and we can give you our opinion, but you are the one who knows how important the metal, diamonds or gemstones are to you.  They may have value in economic terms, but there can also be value for you on a sentimental or emotional level, and that is not something we can put a price on.

The great thing is you can be assured that you will leave with a beautiful piece of contemporary jewellery!

How much does it cost?

How long is a piece of string?!

It really depends on what you want to have made, how much new metal, diamonds or gemstones need to be added, and the time and skill involved in actually melting your gold and making your piece of jewellery.  Having met with you initially we will give you a ballpark figure to make sure it is within your budget before proceeding with design work.  This is why it’s great to have an approximate budget in mind – it gives us structure and makes it much easier for us to say what is and isn’t possible, so don’t be afraid to tell how much you were hoping to spend.

How long does it take?

We love our customers – everyone is so very different!

Sometimes it’s possible to have the design and quote for the remodelled piece of jewellery worked out on the spot in the shop, and everything signed up within 10 minutes. Normally though, working out the design and quote can take from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the details required and the “ironing out” and refining that need to be done.  We appreciate that designs and ideas may need to be mulled over, and you may have questions to ask.  These decisions can be very personal and emotional, and should definitely not to be rushed.  We make it our business to make sure your remodelled piece of jewellery is perfect for you before any work is started!

Once everything is agreed, it normally takes 4-5 weeks for the piece to be ready for collection, but this can vary.   If you have a particular deadline or timeframe, please do let us know – we will do everything we can to get it made on time.

What if I don't like the end result?

This is unlikely as we go to great lengths to make sure that you like every aspect of the design before starting to make your piece of jewellery.  That said, if you didn’t like the end result we wouldn’t leave you high and dry!  No one walks out of our store unhappy, so we would do everything possible to change/remake the piece so that you are completely happy.

Do I need to make an appointment?

We have an open door, and you are welcome to drop by at any time.  However, we do prefer if you book an appointment for bespoke and remodelling work so that we can make sure we can give you our undivided attention.  No doubt you’ll appreciate that it takes time to work out a bespoke design, especially when it involves using your own gold, diamonds and/or gemstones.  We want to get it right, and you don’t want to feel rushed, so do allow yourself enough time to sit down with us to talk ideas through.

We love remodelling old jewellery and we are very experienced at it!  If you have a piece that you would like remodelled, please do get in touch.  Remember to bring your piece in when you come to see us – there is very little we can do without seeing the jewellery in question.

It is a wonderful experience and nothing to be nervous or worried about!  Our ethos is to be friendly, helpful and not pushy, so don’t be afraid to call in!