Everlasting stones for everlasting love: how sustainable are your wedding rings?
There’s more to this article than meets the eye. Lovely Sarah speaks from the heart about her custom made wedding rings with vintage and family heirloom gems. And she won me over the first time I read this piece – what could be more romantic than giving new life to a treasured diamond or gemstone? The loveliness of Heulwen Lewis Bespoke also lies in its creator. There are plenty of ethical diamonds businesses, and bigger brands making bespoke rings. But having spoken to this lovely lady, I’d choose her if I was looking for a wedding or engagement ring. Because a special ring should have heart and soul, and Sarah’s shines through in everything she creates. Please read this – it’s wonderful.
Last month I had the pleasure of delivering a vintage style cluster ring made from preloved jewellery to a lovely client who wanted a remodelled piece. We used diamonds from three preloved rings and combined her 18ct yellow gold with some recycled platinum for added white sparkle! It was definitely one of my favourite designs to date: when the client called to say thank you, I found myself tearing up!
Hearing how happy she was was great feedback. Even after sixteen years in the jewellery business, I’ve never grown tired of breathing new life into preloved items and remodelling them to reflect the wearer’s personal style – and this feels even more relevant now.
Life has turned on its head over the last few years, and many people are rethinking how they want to live their lives. Shopping feels more meaningful these days: customers are telling me they’re vowing to support ethical local businesses from now on or that they’re avoiding fast disposable fashion.
This attitude applies to jewellery too. More couples than ever are asking us to create engagement and wedding rings that incorporate old stones. Others are bringing vintage gold or platinum they’d like to meltdown and remodel. Or sentimental items that have been gathering dust because they don’t suit modern tastes — the ring from a lost loved one, the vintage earrings from a grandparent, the pendant handed down from generation to generation. We love transforming these keepsakes to suit the current owner, so they can be worn with pride and treasured for years to come.
A lot of the feel-good factor comes from knowing these pieces are sustainable. Of course, I love the buzz of shiny brand-new things. But for the planet’s sake, I prefer to reuse what customers already own to create what they want instead.
Sometimes that means melting down customers’ metal and redesigning something fabulous. When this isn’t possible, we source recycled metals from other sustainable sources. Customers are sometimes surprised to hear that all loose diamonds and gemstones can also be reused, from the tiniest to the largest. Should there be any wear and tear, such as chips/scuffs from the old mount, these can be polished out until the stones look as good as new. Again, we source stones from sustainable and fairtrade sources when vintage stones aren’t available.
After all, precious gemstones and metals have been around for billions of years! And they’ll likely be around for many more. By their very nature, these materials lend themselves to being recycled and reused over and over. In this way, even as fashions and tastes change, it is possible to stay up-to-date in a sustainable way.
Looking for inspiration for your wedding? Take this redesign of a much-loved claw set ring, combined with two diamonds from a pair of unworn studs. I loved remodelling them into a stunning contemporary five stone engagement ring.
Or perhaps you’re looking for an alternative wedding ring for the groom? I created this signet ring from a preloved ring that we cleaned, resized and fitted with a specially cut stone.
So why not dust off your forgotten gems and get in touch? We’d love to transform your vintage jewellery into a future heirloom that’s sustainable for generations to come.
Get in touch here: https://www.heulwenlewisbespoke.com
Heulwen Lewis Bespoke is an English Wedding member