Where Antique Gems Get a Brand New Look, One Gorgeous Jewel at a Time

by Reema Farooqui
antique gems

At Sarah Ho Jewellery, Sustainability is the Journey and the Destination

Every jewellery piece at Sarah Ho Jewellery is sustainably crafted using antique gemstones, pearls and diamonds as well as recycled gold. In fact, at Sarah Ho Jewellery, sustainability is the real deal – it is a firm commitment that defines the very essence of this jewellery brand.

As a jewellery designer, Sarah Ho has always favoured using antique gems and diamonds in her fine jewellery. “Finding these unloved jewels to reimagine into something new and contemporary is the foundation of my design journey. I find that I’m able to create pieces that I never would have thought of before because something so unusual presented itself to me.”

Pacific Natural Pearl Ring with a Central Natural Rainbow Pearl and Rose-cut Diamonds, Set in Recycled 18K White Gold
Sourcing Antique Gems

Sarah is always looking for antique and vintage jewellery pieces with characterful gemstones, diamonds and pearls. “How I came across the stones become as much of the story as the final design, this is the sustainable spirit and ethos at the heart of my brand.” 

Designing Jewellery with Antique Gemstones

The entire concept of working older material into newer pieces comes from a place of genuine thoughtfulness and humility. For Sarah, it is way of writing a brand new chapter in the story of those jewels. “These pieces were worn and loved by people in the past and it’s time for them to find love again.”

Sometimes the antique jewellery pieces are in disrepair. At other times, the pieces themselves are not very attractive but the gemstones set in them are exquisite. In such cases, the antique gems are carefully removed so that they may be worn again, set in something modern.

But the process is more than simply extracting the gems from older pieces and setting them in contemporary jewels. As Sarah describes it, “revamping old jewels is a carefully considered process. I want to honour and respect the gems and materials, after all, they have survived over a hundred years.  It’s my job to create the design so they last hundreds of years more.” 

Conversely, where the antique jewel is both beautiful and in good condition, Sarah gives it a more contemporary look by adding distinctive new details to it. Almost always, these details are non-permanent. This allows the jewel to be worn in multiple ways while it still retains its original look. For instance, adding a removable jewelled jacket or a detachable drop to a pair of antique earring gives them versatility and a more stylish look but does not essentially alter their antique look.

Each jewellery piece is first sketched by Sarah, who then discusses it with the jewellery craftsmen at her workshop. Every detail is carefully thought out so that the finished jewellery piece showcases the antique gemstones in an authentic and alluring manner.

The Fonteyn Earrings

The Fonteyn Earrings embody the essence of Sarah’s work with antique jewels and gemstones. This piece started its life as a pair of antique earrings set with natural saltwater blister pearls and old rose-cut diamonds. Since the earrings were already very beautiful and in good condition, Sarah decided to leave them as they were but added a party jacket to them. This not only enhanced their overall look, but also gave them a 21st century aesthetic. The party jacket is a halo of fine white enamelled lace-work which is set with rose-cut diamonds. When slipped over the earrings, it gives them an elegantly glamourous look. However, when worn without the jacket, the gorgeous antique look of the earrings remains unchanged. These earrings were named in honour of Margot Fonteyn, the prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet company. This is because the diamond-set enamel lace of the earrings looks so much like the beautiful costumes of this renowned dancer.

Sustainably sourced antique gems and the use of recycled gold, define the ethos of At Sarah Ho Jewellery. Rescuing beautiful antique jewels and gems and giving them a second chance at being loved and worn, is what makes jewellery designer Sarah Ho’s fine jewellery pieces not only unique but also very coveted.

Featured Image: The Fonteyn Earrings

You may also like

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: