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.
By applying the same integrity to the repair process as we do to our manufacturing of new items – our customers can be assured that their jewellery will be restored as faithfully as possible to the original creation.
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.