The Heirloom Service | Process & Frequently Asked Questions featured image

 

More than ever, our clients at Natalie Marie Jewellery are seeking something not only unique in aesthetic, but also imbued with deep personal significance, and we are commonly asked if we can work with stones that have been inherited, passed down or gifted.

“My engagement ring was designed by my husband Dan using a beautiful old mine cut diamond from his great grandmother’s engagement ring, so I truly understand the heartfelt sentiment and honour of wearing an heirloom ring. It is for this reason, that for a limited time only, we’re offering our bespoke designs using your heirloom stones” - Natalie Fitch.

Having been worn by loved ones and passed down through generations, heritage jewellery and gemstones hold an indisputable sway over our hearts.  At NMJ, we are excited to be able to breathe new life into these treasures and to thoughtfully and carefully reimagine them into the perfect new piece.

Working with heirloom pieces and stones has its challenges and presents risks which have, until now, made it difficult for us to offer this service. However, in such trying times, our belief that love must go on - and our personal understanding of the sentimentality of using such precious family pieces - has inspired us to break tradition and open our specialised bespoke process, for a limited time only,  to include these truly unique pieces.

Working with heirlooms can be a little complicated so at this point, we are offering this exclusive service to Australian customers only. Find out more about the process below. 

 

Do you accept heirloom stones or gems only?

Yes, heirloom stones only, not new stones or stones sourced elsewhere. 

 

Will you accept any heirloom stone?

Stones will be accepted case by case with all risk factors assessed. We will offer a comprehensive appraisal process prior to commencing any work – we want to make sure your stones can be made into the dream piece you have in mind, safely, ensuring the piece will last for years to come.

 

Will you reset old rings?

No, we won’t remodel or reset current or antique pieces. We will create one of our designs, using the heirloom stone / stones. You can still send us in an heirloom piece of jewellery, and we will unset the stone/stones for use. We will not use the existing materials, these will be returned to you on completion. 

 

Will you use my materials / metals?  

No, just the stone.

 

What is the process?

Working with heirloom stones is complicated, but well worth the efforts.

 

- All heirloom pieces need to be independently appraised in order to take part in our heirloom re-design process - whether a loose stone or a piece of jewellery. This is for insurance purposes to ensure the piece is covered while in our care, but this also validates the materials/stone type for both parties, providing written evidence of such. This appraisal process has to be undertaken via the below channels before the piece is sent to NMJ. 

 

-  Appraisal process to be undertaken by a third party valuer, and is at a cost of $150. This cost is non refundable even if the client chooses not to go ahead with the piece, or in the case that the stone is deemed unsuitable by the NMJ team. 

 

- Heirloom pieces will be securely sent by the customer to the independent appraiser to undergo this process. NMJ will assist with the organisation of courier services, and will send the relevant paperwork to facilitate the transfer. This is included in the appraisal cost.  Pieces are not to be sent directly to NMJ - this appraisal process must be completed before the piece passes into the care of NMJ. This is to ensure that NMJ have got written clarification and confirmation about what is being received into our studio - including stone details, material content and approximate value. NMJ does not cover pieces while in transit interstate, as these will be in the hands of an external courier service. Sydney based courier services would be via our own secure service. The customer is responsible for packaging the piece adequately to ensure its safety in transit. 

 

- Once the piece has undergone this process, NMJ will send a pdf copy of the valuation certificate to the customer for their reference, and will forward the piece and original certificate directly on to NMJ. The original certificate will be included with the finished piece.  The piece is not able to be returned to the customer at this stage unless they have chosen not to proceed. If for some reason the customer requires the piece back, this appraisal process will have to be repeated again before handing over to NMJ. 

 

- Once the piece is received by NMJ, our team will document and confirm receipt of the piece, from which point onwards, the piece will be considered under the care of NMJ for insurance purposes. 

 

- While the piece is in our care, the piece will be covered up to the value stated on the valuation certificate from the third party appraiser. NMJ holds no responsibility should the details on the valuation certificate vary at all from what was expected of the piece. Pieces will be covered for loss or theft. While in our care, the piece will be stored securely in our facility. 

 

- Suitability of stones is assessed on a case by case basis, and NMJ have the right to refuse work on a stone which they don’t seem fit to work with. 

 

- Once the stone has been accepted by our team and confirmed as received and second stage checked, the team will reach out to begin the design and production process, which will unfold as per our usual bespoke process, in the hands of our bespoke team. Bespoke production turnaround times apply, which are approximately twelve weeks. 

 

 - NMJ will not take responsibility for breakage or damage to stones which are removed from existing jewellery, those in antique pieces as these often have existing damage. We are also unable to accept any responsibility of stones which we have not sourced, as we are not aware of their quality or origin. This means that all care, but no responsibility will be taken for breakage or damage of the stone while in our care or while being worked with. All care will be taken to maintain the integrity of all stones, however there are inherent risks involved with working with older gemstones with rich histories.

 

- On completion, our work will be covered under our manufacturing warranty, but the stone is not covered. 

 

- On completion of the piece, a second valuation will be undertaken of the new piece. Please note, stone weights may vary between the two certificates if the original valuation was undertaken on a jewellery piece rather than a loose stone.   This is because the valuer will have to estimate the weight based on the stone set in the piece initially, but the stone will be accurately weighed once it has been extracted from the piece. 

 

Feeling ready to begin the process with us? Reach out to our team at studio@nataliemariejewellery.com. 

 

PC: @tealily