Family Heirloom Jewelry

Turning old jewelry into something new.

Recently a client brought in a collection of jewelry pieces that she discovered in her late mother's estate. I was happy to evaluate each piece of jewelry and determine what was authentic and what was costume. We found a number of items that were gold and diamonds that could be repurposed to create new pieces of jewelry. She wanted to suprise her sister with a custom creation that would celebrate the memory of her beloved mother.

We were able to take a pile of small diamonds and old scrap gold and turn them into this pendant for her sister and this ring for herself.

Here is a letter from my client that I would like to share with you.

Customer Ring

I wanted to do something special for you this holiday so I started working on an idea in October. I gathered up all of Mom’s gold jewelry along with a few pieces from my collection that I no longer wanted. I took the pile of gold to Richard Dolgin - the jeweler where we purchased our wedding rings and your silver locket. He no longer has a retail store but is a private jeweler operating out of a small office at 119th and Roe,  (http://www.dolgins.com/) . Over the course of several visits, we proceeded to design two pieces of jewelry – one for you and one for myself. I wanted a ring and I decided on a pendant for you since you don’t prefer to wear rings. He analyzed the gold and several small diamonds from two bracelets. There were two bracelets from Dad containing small diamonds.

The tennis bracelet contained around 60 small white diamonds and the two tone bracelet contained around 40 top light brown diamonds. Some of the diamonds were in good shape and some of them were broken. Richard cleaned them up and sorted out the good from the bad. Next I started browsing through catalogs trying to get an idea of something for each of us. I found a few things here and there but was not totally convinced of the final product at this point.

He has a display of jewelry in his office so I started looking and trying different pieces. I was drawn to a matching ring and pendant that he and his associate Marsha had designed. So I proceeded to try them on and fell in love with both of them. Richard and Marsha had several discussions regarding how they could make these two pieces using Mom’s diamonds. It is a form of artwork with specific sizes and spacing to accommodate the mold for the ring and pendant. The tennis bracelet diamonds were larger than the top light brown diamonds.

Customer Pendant


We finally came to an agreement where they would use the tennis bracelet diamonds in the pendant and the top light brown diamonds in the ring. He warned me that the ring may appear a different color from the pendant because of the brown diamonds. There is a distinct difference between the two when placed side by side. The pendant alone looks brilliant white and the ring alone is sparkling with an antique appearance. So the final products are enclosed in your Christmas gift. Take a look – I want to wear them to church this evening, (I may have to loan you a chain for tonight). I hope we can wear these two pieces of jewelry and always be reminded of Mom and Dad’s love for us. They truly did love us unconditionally. I love you sister.

PS – We still have 30 white diamonds left from the tennis bracelet.