Upcycling is a relatively new term, coined in 1994 by German engineer Reiner Pliz (source)
We now find ourselves at a time when the earth needs us to make more sustainable choices for our future generations, so why not Upcycle some old jewellery rather than buying something new?
What is Upcycling?
verb gerund or present participle: upcycling
reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. "the opportunity to upcycle trash, or turn it into new products, was vast"
How Can I Upcycle my existing Jewellery?
One of the many services that we offer here at Woods is re-modelling customers old gold (platinum or silver) and gemstones, into something new!
There are several ways we can do this:
- We can bring your old worn out jewellery back to life, re-building claws, settings and shanks, cleaning and polishing - until they look brand new again.
- We can update an existing item, changing certain aspects but keeping the overall design the same.
- If you have some sentimental items of jewellery that you don't wear we can melt them down and create something totally new from them.
How does it work?
Here's a step by step guide to the design process:
1. Design Appointment
Just pop in, or if you'd prefer you can book an appointment with a member of the design team and they will see you for a no obligation free design consultation. We will sit down together and discuss your project, Depending on the complexity of the design we may be able to provide you with a quick sketch and a rough ball park quote.
2. CAD Design & Estimate
If you are happy with this, we can proceed at this point, or if you'd like we can create more life like designs and renders by taking your project into CAD. To do this we charge a £50 design fee which entitles you to four CAD rendered bespoke designs. These designs are mathematically accurate, render lifelike and even virtually weigh for a precise estimate.
If you are happy to proceed we will detail a timeframe, which is usually around 4 - 6 weeks.
Where possible we now try to film our handmade bespoke creations. You can see some of our previous transformations on our Youtube channel by clicking here.
What can I have made?
There are really two approaches we can take:
Our Goldsmiths have hand crafted a large variety of items over the years, they can re-create rings, pendants, bracelets, bangles, brooches and even (albeit less frequently) tie slides, tie pins, cufflinks and tiaras!
When using CAD to create your re-design, we like to think the only limitation is your imagination! We can create (almost) anything, and over the years we have made some very unusual pieces such as; a clasping hands ring, a cupcake and a rubber duck!
However, something to consider with CAD is that the items will be cast and therefore we cannot use your old gold, although there are instances where we may be able to combine CAD and Handmade techniques. Your stones however can still be upcycled into the new design.
We also buy old gold, and so you could sell your less sentimental old gold and offset the money towards your CAD design.
What Projects have you worked on before?
Here are four examples of upcycling projects that we completed in 2022.
The first column to the left shows the before, the centre column demonstrates the CAD representation of the final design, the handmaking in progress or the digital sketch design ideas, the last column shows the final piece.
You can see many more examples by following us on Instagram.
Any More Questions?
No problem! Please feel free to contact us:
This is a process that we love, seeing unused jewellery brought back to life.
If you have some items of jewellery at home that are just sitting there gathering dust, why not pop them in? With Goldsmiths and a design team on-site there is always someone here who can help you start your journey to creating your perfect piece.