Turning old into new

Turning old into new
July 18, 2016 Fairina Cheng

Sometimes, engagement rings tell more than the story of a couple.

Designed to capture Olivia and Paul’s love of nature, this ring also incorporates the history of a family.

Following a chance encounter at the Finders Keepers markets, Olivia came to me with her mother’s old engagement ring – made in the 80’s and set with a diamond.

“I had dreams of transforming it into a new engagement ring with a simple design, inspired by our love for flowers and plants,” she said. “We have both always loved nature growing up – walking through rainforests and mountains, hopping on rocks by the ocean and growing plants.”

Recycle your old engagement ring and create something completely new
Remake your old engagement ring and jewellery

Olivia’s mum’s 30-year old diamond ring

A floral shaped setting and a simple, minimalist ring band seemed like the perfect solution. And by incorporating Olivia’s mum’s engagement ring, it was the perfect way to turn the past into a story that’s just beginning.

The making of an engagement ring

The stamp on the inside of the band indicating gold content had worn away, so the first step was determining exactly what Olivia’s mum’s ring was made of.

There are many ways of doing this. But the easiest, most accurate (and perhaps the most exciting) is through an x-ray fluorescence machine. In seconds it tells us, down to a fraction, how much pure gold and other elements are in the piece being analysed. It took only seconds to confirm that the ring was 14ct white gold.

Next, was melting down the gold and turning it into a ring band. The shank was wholly made from Olivia’s mum’s engagement ring, with new gold used for the floral setting.

Engagement ring work in progress by Sydney jeweller, Fairina Cheng
Diamond engagement ring, custom made by Fairina Cheng

Preparing and setting the stone was one of the most exciting parts. Cloudy from years of wear, it wasn’t until the diamond came out from its first dip in the ultrasonic cleaner that I saw its full sparkle for the first time. It was stunning, and I couldn’t help but let out what must have been the goofiest grin ever.

Finally, the ring was polished and rhodium finished to a bright white shine. I couldn’t wait to hand it over!

Custom made solitaire diamond engagement ring

The handover

This tends to be the most exciting part of the journey for me as a jeweller. We met at a local cafe for the final reveal, and I’m glad to say, it couldn’t have gone any smoother.

“My partner and I are ecstatic about the ring!” said Olivia. “It’s beautiful, made with love and is more special than anything we could have bought at a store.”

“Fairina turned my broad thoughts into an elegant, creative and personal design. We really enjoyed being able to see the process from start to finish, which I knew nothing about before.”

The proposal

In June 2017, Paul proposed with the ring on the banks of the Seine river, overlooking the Eiffel tower while its lights sparkled.

“It was a lovely moment in a really wonderful trip,” Olivia said. “The reaction to the ring from friends and family has been so positive. I feel like I have my mum’s power when I wear it.”

“The ring has a connection to my mum and her own personal history – it seems very special to have that with me for my entire life.”

Diamond engagement ring in Versailles Gardens, Paris

Want to chat about your own bespoke engagement ring?

Book a call or send an email to get the conversation started. We’ll talk through your ideas, answer your questions and establish a direction for your custom engagement ring.

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