Abrecht Bird Jewellers offer each customer a special personalised service, and ensure your precious jewellery is our priority. Please select from the following for further information:
It is not unusual for us to be presented with one or more ‘pre-loved’ items of jewellery together with a request to reuse the gems to make something new and special. Our experience with design, in tandem with our highly skilled and versatile workshop, makes us ideally suited to offer this service.
Customers are typically guided through the design process by reference to stock pieces, our photo file of past creations, or by presentation of sketches of proposed designs.
Our attitude to and ability to offer this remake service provides a striking example of how we are different to most mainstream retail jewellers.
Designing and hand-making are our specialty. We love the interaction with clients and seeing the pleasure on their faces when their ideas are translated into works of art.
Unfortunately, fewer and fewer apprentice jewellers are being trained. The art and skill of hand-making jewellery is in danger of being lost. In its place we see mass production techniques, with much of the jewellery imported.
At Abrecht Bird Jewellers we offer you the opportunity to plan your own design with the guidance of skilled, experienced designers and craftsmen. Many requests we receive are for simple, classical designs. These can often be accompanied by a photo or rough sketch.
Our consultation process addresses every aspect of even the most straightforward design concepts – the colour of gold, type of setting, width and thickness of band, profile and suitability for the wedding ring it will accompany.
Master Jeweller Greg John has over 30 years’ experience as a designer and hand-maker. When called upon to produce a complex piece, he shows the depth of his artistic skill by sketching the design for the customer’s approval prior to commencing. He is proud to stamp his individual maker’s mark on these designs – adding value and prestige for the wearer.
We are frequently consulted by clients who wish us to restore jewellery that has been inherited.
We endeavour to provide practical advice but are also mindful of the emotional link that resides in the item.
Sometimes the best solution is to completely remake the article re-using the gems, but to reconstruct using new materials. However, where practical we will try to retain as many of the original components as possible, while replacing badly worn areas.
For an excellent example of our ‘no compromise’ attitude to restorations and the methods employed to recreate the former glory of a client’s engagement ring, please read the Wisdom from the Bench article in our ABJ newsletter July 2011.
Jewellery doesn’t last forever:
Since time began jewellery has been given and worn to symbolise relationships and occasions. The emotional attachment to these special moments is more powerful than for any other ‘consumer durable’ we encounter through our lives. Engagement, wedding and anniversary rings are purchased in the expectation that they will last a lifetime. Indeed, many women hope and expect that jewellery which has meant so much to them will be passed on to future generations as family heirlooms.
The belief that significant jewellery will last ‘forever’ is rarely applied to other material possessions. Cars, clothes, appliances, even houses wear out or are sold, to be replaced by newer ‘models’. When you think about it, it’s a tough ‘ask’ for (say) a diamond ring to last for 50 years. Gold is a relatively soft metal and wears out. You can easily imagine that a brooch could endure, but the fact that the ring is worn on a finger means that it is at the ‘business end’ of our daily activities – encountering (wearing against) everything we touch or hold.
Our attitude to repairs:
One of the most difficult problems we encounter in the workshop is a client request to work on a piece that has been poorly made, or worse, shoddily repaired in the past. Abrecht Bird’s knowledge of production methods and our strong emphasis on hand-making provide the framework for high quality repair work. It is a sad commentary on the state of the jewellery manufacturing trade that fewer and fewer of today’s jewellers have the skill, desire or pride to see the repair function as a restoration. Shortcuts taken by sub-standard repairers (such as the use of ‘easy/soft’ solder, or re-securing stones by adding only solder to claws) will be at best a short-term solution; at worst it could mean that it is impossible to carry out another repair. For this reason, we will refuse to provide a ‘patch’ solution to a repair problem.
In reality, even the best made and maintained jewellery will not last ‘forever’. In some cases it may be possible to remake as original, or to use components (such as gems) to remake a different piece of jewellery.
We will always endeavour to give clients realistic and accurate advice. We understand the emotional attachment to jewellery and will do everything possible to keep your jewellery in peak condition – providing maximum enjoyment for today’s and next generation’s wearer.
Regular checks of the security and condition of jewellery provide the opportunity for us to discuss preventive maintenance and timely repairs with our clients.
We provide vouchers twice yearly in our newsletter to encourage clients to use this free service. We urge you to take advantage of these.
We have five gemmologists and four registered valuers on our staff. A complimentary valuation is provided for each piece of jewellery we make and we also offer a valuation service for clients’ jewellery. Valuation of jewellery is a complex task and we require time to provide an assessment – our turnaround time is generally 2–3 weeks. Special items, such as antiques or watches, generally require a second opinion.
Once we have valued an item we can offer an update valuation service at a lower rate providing we sight the jewellery.