upcycling family jewellery before and after…

This was a lovely commission to do , so Many thanks to my client for trusting me with it, and it is an example of ‘upcycling’ family jewellery as a before and after to show you what is possible to do.   My client had inherited her mothers, grand mothers and great grandmothers wedding bands,- but she didn’t wear rings, so decided a pair of earrings would be a lovely way to make full use of these very special items.

To start with I had to warm each one up with my gas/oxygen torch to check if they had previous solder joints in them as this would dictate where they could be cut through for re use.  See the picture below.

This is how the Gold looks when it has been warmed in the torch flame, some oxide comes to the surface, which changes how it looks but can then be polished off.

It enables me to see any old solder joints then before I start any work on them.

three gold wedding bands used for upcycling to earrings

three wedding bands for upcycling

Once I had discussed the details with my client and had been given the ‘Go ahead’ I rolled each of the two heavier rings out to make the drops.

They were then polished and twisted to give the effect you see below.

The final lighter weight ring was cut into the shapes which were soldered as details  onto the new 18 carat gold wires.



Strong butterfly clips were added to ensure they would not be lost when worn. When they were completed the gold was particularly beautiful being 22 carat Gold for the drops.

My client kindly gave me a 5 star Google review:-        ‘I contacted Helen when I inherited three wedding rings belonging to my mum, grandma and great-grandma, which I knew I would never wear, but wanted to use the gold to have earrings designed and made. Helen understood exactly what I wanted and talked me through what was possible until we came to a design that I was happy with, using all the rings. I dropped the rings off with her and picked up the earrings in less than a fortnight, and I am delighted with them. They are everything I hoped they would be, and I am happy to recommend Helen to anyone with a bespoke commission.’

If you have family pieces sitting in a draw at home, then perhaps you could consider having something new done with them too, something  that you would feel happy to wear, and would keep the sentiment and family connection to them.

As you can see a ring can become a pair of earrings or a pendant , or be included in a bracelet as a detail, most things would be possible with additional materials , or as in this case the majority of the gold was used.

I can provide any new gold or stones you would like if you don’t have enough in the jewellery you wish to use.

Please feel free to enquire:)    Call me on :-  07913 575 490

<img src=''yellow gold upcycled earrings''/>

Yellow gold upcycled earrings by Helen Burrell

About Helen Burrell

I am now a Jewellery Designer based in Loughborough , I started my career in jewellery design after doing a year's foundation course at Cheltenham college of Art. Following on from there I completed a three year degree course in 3 dimensional design at Loughborough college of Art and Design and specialised in jewellery making. Since then , I have run my own business, 'Helen Burrell Fine jewellery',- and have managed two shops. I have worked as a jewellery tutor, a healer and a bereavement counsellor, and worked with children and young adults in the education system. I have now been established as a Designer / Goldsmith for over 30 years and I am developing ranges of jewellery as well as continuing my bespoke services. I now have a sister website www.helenburrelljewellery.co.uk where you can see a range of my work and where I have ranges that can be made up to order in your choice of metal and stones. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any enquiries and I will be happy to help. Helen
This entry was posted in Memorial Jewellery, News, Portfolio, Reworking Gold, Rings, Wedding Rings. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.