Redesign Your Conversation Style

Redesign Your Conversation Style.

The conversation of the moment is of course the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, with most of the attention on the beautiful ring.

Harry commissioned the ring himself to ensure that the bespoke design not only paid tribute to his mother by reusing diamonds from her jewellery collection, but also to a country that is very special to him and Meghan. For Prince Harry, it was clearly not just a case of an engagement ring , but rather he was more concerned by the emotional significance of the diamonds and metal that he chose.

At Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery we often feel more like love story tellers than jewellers; we love getting to know our customers, hearing their stories and using elements of their narrative to make jewellery that they will love for the rest of their lives. This jewellery then becomes a story in itself.

An interesting story can be a invaluable networking tool. You might be a very social person, but the idea of business men and women elbowing each other to the front of the room to give away as many business cards as possible, probably seems awkward.

This is not the same for all networking events, as here at Forward Ladies we encourage a more natural approach when making new connections (take a look at a list of our networking events here). You still might need some help to spark a conversation with a stranger, and there is another way to help the conversation flow more easily which you may not have considered: jewellery….


(Image: Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery: Bangle holding vintage lace from family brooch)

Harriet Kelsall, Founder and Chairman of Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery and Forward Ladies’ Retail Businesswoman of the Year 2016’ believes that jewellery can be a great networking tool: 

“Jewellery is something that we often compliment each other on, which makes it a perfect conversation starter. When you are wearing something fabulous, it is often the first thing that people notice.  For me, it is always a conversation starter and I find that people are particularly fascinated when you can tell them the whole story behind the piece. With a striking piece of jewellery often comes a compliment and rather than simply saying “thank you”, there is so much more potential for the conversation to flow if you can say, for example, thank you, it was made from family gold which was melted down and combined with new Fairtrade gold. The diamond in the center was my grandmother’s and the beautiful blue sapphire next to it was ethically sourced from Sri Lanka. In this instance, you’ve started a whole conversation about your values too”.

According to Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, jewellery that has been made from inherited or recycled pieces often has a really intriguing story to tell. Here are five more great reasons to recycle your jewellery:

  1. Approximately 20 tonnes of gold ore is required to get around 10 grams of pure 24-carat gold. This figure indicates the vast energy consumption caused by new mining, which in turn has a damaging effect on the environment. Reusing gold eliminates the need for further extraction. (
  2. Gold is valuable but selling it reaps little reward and you will only receive a scrap metal value. Using the metal within a redesign will, of course, mean paying for the labour, but the finished piece will be worth far more than the value of the original metal.
  3. Jewellery inherited from loved ones or handed down from previous generations is precious but sometimes it needs a new lease of life. A simple alteration or re-design around the original stones or metal will retain the sentimental value while creating a piece that suits your style.
  4. Inherited metal or gemstones may only be able to form a small part of a redesign so if more elements are required to make a full piece of jewellery then you have the option to include Fairtrade metal or ethically sourced gemstones.
  5. With Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery it’s never just about the jewellery, the story and inspirations behind a bespoke design are just as important. Bespoke design gives our expert designers the privilege of capturing the unique story of every customer, with many one-off designs reflecting the stories and personal experiences of the people who commission them. 

(Image: Harriet Kelsall, Forward Ladies’ Retail Businesswoman of the Year 2016 and Griselda Togobo)

To learn more about the process of reusing and recycling jewellery at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery then this more in-depth feature will help you to get started: 

We all have old jewellery which we don’t wear anymore and it seems a shame to leave it unworn in a jewellery box knowing that certain pieces could actually be transformed into shiny new rings, pendants or earrings. The potential to re-design old pieces into jewellery which better suit your personal style and identity is endless once you start looking into it.

A lot of jewellery made from precious metal can be melted down by a goldsmith and re-formed into a piece of metal which is then ready to be shaped and worked into new items of jewellery. From an ethical perspective reusing metal eliminates the need for new mining, and it is also a good choice for both financial and sentimental reasons too.

Recycling and jewellery are not always two words you see in the same sentence. Often, when we think of recycling and doing our bit for the environment, we think of our day to day lives; sorting our rubbish more efficiently and the spirit of “make do and mend” around the house to give old discarded things new life. But why shouldn’t it be the same with our jewellery?


(Image: Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery: Butterfly pendant made using inherited engagement and wedding rings.)

One of the eight principles of Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery is to be socially and environmentally responsible and a small part of this goal is to reuse and recycle wherever possible within the company.  We particularly favour the act of reusing, as according to the waste hierarchy, reusing is always better for the environment than recycling, which is always better for the environment than disposal.

It may not spring to mind immediately when one thinks of bright shiny new pieces of fine jewellery, but there are actually many ways beautiful pieces of jewellery can be made from recycled and reused materials.

At Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery we believe that it’s never simply about the jewellery. The story and inspirations behind a bespoke design are just as important as the physical piece and inherited jewellery already has such a rich story to tell, full of family history and sentiment. We love continuing this story by getting to know our customers and using elements of their narrative to make jewellery that they will love for the rest of their lives and can pass on through their own families.

The gemstones within an heirloom may be the inspiration for a new commission but they are often set within items of jewellery that are impractical to wear such as brooches or cocktail rings. Or they may be  set in yellow metal when white metal is the preferred choice or the very design of the piece may be dated or over fussy, thus not showing the stone off to its full potential. Or it may be that you have inherited a three stone diamond ring and want to share the stones with your siblings or other family members. In these instances the gemstones can be unmounted and new jewellery can be designed around them. For the designer this is often a really exciting design brief as the type of stone may be very rare and sought after, or because it has an unusual cut. It is really rewarding to design a modern piece around a stone with a life story behind it as this story then passes on to the new wearer.

(Image: Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery: Antique engagement ring alongside re-designed dress ring)


When it comes to reusing gemstones it’s not always possible to know where they have come from, but there is a sense in which the previous owner has taken the brunt of the environmental cost as no new mining has had to take place for the gemstones in your jewellery.

Whether you’re overflowing with ideas or you need some inspiration, then our designers are experts in helping you articulate exactly what it is that you’re looking for. If you would like an estimate for your bespoke idea then simply get in touch and we can help to transform old treasure into something new and continue your family story.

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