Operation Restoration: Almost 200-Year-Old Ring

A long-standing client of The Village Goldsmith was many years ago gifted a beautiful pearl and turquoise ring by her Great Aunt, which was first crafted in Birmingham in 1866. Her understanding was that it was a Victorian Mourning ring, crafted from seed pearls and turquoise, as a memoir of a family member who passed, but she never knew for certain whose death it was created for.

Unfortunately, over the course of time, the delicate structure of the beautiful ring had suffered. One section of the gold filigree pattern had completely broken away and it seemed beyond repair. She contacted us to see if there was anything that could be done, and after reviewing photos of the ring that were emailed to us, we deduced it may be possible to restore it. The ring was couriered to us, and actual examination showed it to be in even worse condition than the photos portrayed. Unbeknownst to our client, the ring in earlier generations had suffered some poorly executed repairs that had left the ring in a perilous state, but we saw potential in the piece and developed a plan to restore it.   

The project was entrusted to one of our master craftsmen, Darren, who set to work removing the signs of the previous lead solder repair. Working under a microscope, Darren carefully pared away the lead to reveal the lovely gold detail beneath. Once this was done, he began the task of carefully hand crafting the tiny individual filigree sections that had been lost. These sections then had to be painstakingly joined to the body of the ring using highly technical laser welding, all done under a microscope. Darren’s skill, along with the latest technologies employed by The Village Goldsmith, meant that he was able to bring the lovely antique ring back to life, in a manner that even the original jeweller who crafted the ring 200 years ago would struggle to know it had ever been repaired.

This is the kind of work we love, using our skills and experience to bring new life to a precious family item, so that it can carry on the legacy of the family to a whole new generation. The final product was very satisfying, and our client was thrilled with the result. 

Below you can see some before and after images of the ring and the transformation that took place. 

Looking to restore your own piece of jewellery, or begin the journey of designing your dream piece, which you can then pass down generations? We listen to your ideas, wants and dreams to bring your very own personal piece of jewellery to life. Specialising in custom bespoke jewellery, and with a combined average of 30 years experience each, our award-winning craftsmen can turn your ideas into reality within our on-site Wellington jewellery workshop. Please get in touch with us to begin the process.

Read more of our unique customer stories below: