Jo Hayes Ward Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check most frequently asked questions here
Repurposing, custom and bespoke FAQ's
What metals can be used for repurposing? 
We can only repurpose yellow gold which is 18ct or higher.  Higher ct gold (22ct or 24ct) can be alloyed down to 18ct which makes the material a little more hardwearing and will also make the gold stretch a little further.
How can I verify my gold?
All gold needs to be verified to check its purity. A lot of the time it will be hallmarked but if not we can arrange for it to be analysed. The cost for checking gold is normally £15 - £20. 
What is the process of transforming my gold jewellery into a new piece?
All Jo's pieces are cast using the lost wax casting process. A visual breakdown of this process can be seen in Caroline’s repurposing story here. When repurposing a customer’s gold jewellery we give our casters the gold along with a wax model of the piece of jewellery it is to become. They create a sacrificial mould just for this new piece of jewellery from my wax model. The wax evaporates away in the mould making process leaving a perfect negative space for the customer’s gold (which is melted down) to be poured into. The mould is then broken away revealing the new gold cast.

It is worth noting that normally multiple pieces of jewellery are cast at the same time in one mould - often Jo's work will be cast alongside various other designers’ pieces. This reduces the overall production cost. This is not possible when repurposing personal gold which means the production cost for this process is quite a bit higher.
How much gold is needed, and how will I know if I have enough?
We start by weighing your existing yellow gold so we know how much we have to work with. 
You need about 10g to 12g more metal than the piece that is actually being cast. This is to cover in casting terms what is known as the ‘button’ and 'casting tree’ - essentially the route the gold travels down to the actual piece of jewellery. 
What if I don’t have enough gold?
Most customers do not have the extra gold, mentioned above, needed for casting the new piece but do have enough to cover the weight of the finished piece of new jewellery. In this instance our precision casters will provide some additional gold to cover the casting process. The weight of gold that you provide will be the weight of gold that is returned to us and we are only charged a handling fee for the extra gold used in the casting process. This does mean that your gold is ‘diluted’ somewhat in the casting process but you get back exactly the same as the amount you put in.
Can stones be reused?
Yes, we can re-house stones in a new piece of jewellery. 
I’m not sure what the stone in my existing jewellery is, is there a way of checking it?
Yes we recommend having all stones checked by a professional gemologist. We can have one of our expert suppliers check the stone, for a cost of £20. Should the piece have various different gems a further £10 is charged per gem type. 
What is the process for repurposing a piece with stones?
At an initial consultation with Jo she will be able to examine the stones in your jewellery and advise various ways they could be set in a new piece. The next step is to extract the stones and measure them precisely. There is a small charge for this which will depend on how many stones and the type of settings they are in. We can provide a quote on viewing your jewellery. 

Please note there is always a risk when removing stones from jewellery that they could break. It is very unlikely - particularly in the case of diamonds, rubies and sapphires which are all very strong stones - but we cannot be held responsible for this should it happen.

Once we have all the sizes and weights of what you have Jo can work out exactly what is possible. 
What cost is involved in the actual repurposing?
Depending on how much gold you have it is not necessarily as cost effective as you might think to re-use your metal as there are much higher production and consultation costs with this process. However if you are doing it for sentimental reasons it is a wonderful way of redeveloping an heirloom treasure. 

To give you a very rough idea of cost, for design time and production of repurposing one piece without any stones, prices normally start around £1,500, depending on the complexity of the design. If stones are used there are of course additional analysing, customisation and setting costs. 

It is definitely more cost effective should you have enough gold to make a larger piece, for example a structural ring, where the saving you make on the cost of gold really outweighs the production cost. It is also more cost effective if you are making more than one piece with your gold as the production cost reduces considerably for every extra piece that is cast. For example one stacking ring might cost £1500, two stacking rings would be around £2100 and £2750 for three stacking rings.
How long do repurposing projects take?
If you decide you would like to proceed, the timeframe for the project is likely to be between 2 and 4 months, sometimes longer. We’ll need a fair bit of time to completely work out what will work as repurposing projects can often be quite complex. Once the design stage is finished, Jo needs 4 to 6 weeks for production.
Is it possible to select one of your designs but customise it to incorporate stones of my choice?
Yes absolutely. Jo is very happy to discuss options to customise an existing design. Depending on which existing design you want to use as a starting point, there are always options and considerations, please get in touch to discuss your ideas. 
Do you create bespoke pieces?
Yes we do, in Jo’s aesthetic. If you’ve seen some of her designs and would like to use it as a starting point for a completely bespoke piece, please get in touch, we are always happy to discuss your ideas and what is possible. 
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