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Refurbishing an Antique Emerald and Diamond Ring

April had a family heirloom. It was a baguette cut emerald (rectangular shape) set in the middle of a platinum cluster, surrounded by old cut diamonds.

This special ring had been missing for a while, the family thought it had been lost for good, but they couldn’t understand where or how.

Whilst moving house, an armchair was lifted up and to everyone’s amazement, the ring fell out from underneath one of the wheels! – It had been caught up inside the wheel of the armchair for years!

This had caused it to bend out of shape, the head was curved unevenly backwards and the emerald was damaged. There was some damage to the underneath of her ring as well. The band had survived and so had the diamonds.

April booked an appointment at our Shaftesbury Design Studio and discussed some different options with Louise.

April was unsure whether she should replace the emerald with a diamond, or a different gemstone, or a brighter more vivid emerald. The emerald in her original ring was a dark mossy green, it was laking in vibrance and lustre – even before it spent years inside the wheel of an armchair!

After a good chat about all of her different options, April decided to restore it to its former glory with a new platinum head, she decided to have the emerald replaced with another emerald that was a much brighter and more vivid green.

Louise gathered a selection of different grades of emeralds for April to choose from. These ranged from the brightest green, to lighter greens, and from clear stones to slightly included ones.

April’s central stone is not a standard size. A lot of gemstones are ‘calibrated’ to a set scale of size, generally increasing by half to one millimetre in each direction.

Louise talked through the options; April could have any of the emeralds from this selection cut to fit the size of her original setting, or she could set a different size or cut of emerald in her new head, and then we could arrange the diamonds around the outside. The second option would mean that the finished ring would look different to the original.

April decided to choose the emerald that she liked the best, and then to have it cut to fit the proportions of her original setting.

This ring really needed an entire new head. The top was platinum, and the underneath was 18ct yellow gold. The band was fine to re-use, but because all of the settings had been squashed, a new head was the best option.

The best way to achieve this was to scan April’s original head into CAD, and recreate it as a new flat cluster setting that could be attached to her original band.

We cast the top parts (settings) in platinum, and the under bezel (cage underneath) in 18ct yellow gold.

April’s original band was perfectly fine to re-use, so she didn’t need a new band cast.

You can see her freshly cast platinum; there is a slight texture to the platinum, this is left over from casting. The first job was to ‘clean up’ her metal, this involves filing, sandpapering and polishing the surface of the castings until they have a high shine.

Then we soldered the yellow gold under bezel to the platinum top, it was time to re-attached April’s original gold band.

Our Nico did a lovely job of setting her new emerald and old cut diamonds into their new settings.

This family heirloom is being cherished and worn again!!

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