How To: Reset an Heirloom Stone

It’s been in the family for generations and is imbued with history and meaning – but what do you do if the engagement ring you’re gifted isn’t your cup of tea?


    It’s been in the family for generations and is imbued with history and meaning – but what do you do if the engagement ring you’re gifted isn’t your cup of tea?

    Step One – Test the waters

    If you and your fiancé have been given a family heirloom but you’d prefer the stone to be nestled in a different setting, check with the previous owner before you change a thing, especially if the ring has remained the same for generations. Express how grateful and honoured you are to receive it, then clearly explain your reasons for wanting to give it a spruce up. It may be that the current setting is impractical in view of your job or hobbies, or it might be in need of repair.

     Step Two – Tick the boxes

    The professional resetting your gem may require a lab report, appraisal and mapping of the stone before they begin. As well as enabling it to be identified as yours further down the line, this will highlight any chips or cracks that could dictate how it should be reset. If there are fractures around the edge of the stone, for example, the ring might require a bezel setting instead of prongs; a skilled jeweller will be able to advise you on the best approach.

    Step Three – Recruit an expert

    Speak to a range of jewellers who have experience working with antique stones. Have a list of questions ready for them: Will the ring be insured while it’s on their premises? Will it stay on the premises for resetting? Who will be resetting the stone and how experienced are they? Can they provide references? How long will it take?

     Step Four – Get inspired

    You’ll be wearing this ring for a lifetime, so it makes sense to ensure it’s one you’ll always adore. Collect photos of settings and designs that appeal to you and pass them on to your jeweller – they’ll be able to translate the patterns in your preferences into options that will work with your stone. 


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