Recycled gold drop earrings with imperial topaz

When we first met, Isobel had a gold necklace that didn't fall quite right, along with some other little bits of gold jewellery and an array of stones. There was no shortage of possibilities, but a pair of faceted oval topaz stood out amongst her collection of gems and we plotted to make a dressy gold drop earring with a little movement to catch the eye.

Recycling an old gold chain into a new pair of gold and topaz drop earrings

Recycling an old gold chain into a new pair of gold and topaz drop earrings

Here's the new bracelet and a bar of gold made from the rest of the chain

Here's the new bracelet and a bar of gold made from the rest of the chain

As you can see from the scales we started out with 14g of gold which is well in excess of what was needed to complete this project so you'll be glad to hear that the troublesome necklace became a not so troublesome bracelet before the balance was melted.

Earrings like these require a number of different gauges of metal so I melted the gold into different little nuggets to create the bar for the stem, the flat sheet for each setting, not to mention the tiny little jump rings that would make the earrings bob. Each nugget was in turn milled and formed before being soldered together. The topaz were then set and everything was given a good polish before finally bending the stems into a dramatic hook.

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Vintage drop diamond earring remodel

Diamond bar brooch

Diamond bar brooch

Eleanor loves jewellery as much as I do and when she asked me to design a set of vintage inspired earrings I was nervous. Vintage isn't my natural style, but I figure I'm game for a challenge. The diamonds were harvested from a beautiful old brooch and had it been anyone else I would have hesitated to break up such a lovely piece, but Eleanor assured me that should she need one she had an even finer specimen!

Doodles

Doodles

To start with I removed the diamonds from the brooch and began to play with their layout. I did some drawings and laid the diamonds on my preferred designs. Eleanor picked her favourite and I transferred this layout onto a piece the metal. In the spirit of that time the diamonds were set in silver with 18ct yellow gold hooks, jump rings and interestingly, back panels.

Drop earrings in the making

Drop earrings in the making


The largest diamonds were bezel set and soldered on to the silver plate before piercing out the scalloped pattern and soldering on gold jump rings. A further bezel set diamond was attached above the main panel for extra swoosh factor. The rest of the diamonds were then set and finished with milligrain (that tiny beaded effect), before adding the gold safety backed hoops.

Vintage style old cut diamond drop earrings

Vintage style old cut diamond drop earrings

A quick polish and they're done.

 

Bezel set old cut diamond studs

Well loved vintage five stone ring

Well loved vintage five stone ring

Sadly the centre stone from Barbara's antique five stone diamond ring fell out never to be seen again and the ring long languished in a drawer waiting on its time to shine once more.

Looking at the other pieces in her collection it seemed that diamond earrings were one of the few things missing, so we settled on making up low tapering bezels in 9ct white gold. 9ct is perfect in earrings because they don't see too much wear and tear and when rhodium plated the colour is exactly the same as 18ct, but not so the price!

Old cuts free from their mount

Old cuts free from their mount

When popped out of the mount you can see the shape of the old cuts is totally different from the modern round brilliant cut diamond. They are usually deeper and more cushion shaped. This shape is a little trickier to set than round, but I think you'll agree the finished earrings were worth the extra trouble.

Diamond studs

Diamond studs

And here they are...

Love how the cushion shape of the old cut still carries through to the bezel.