Why we shouldn’t melt old jewellery

Display at the Casino Maltese exhibition entitled Vanity, Profanity and Worship: Jewellery from the Maltese Islands. Photos: Matthew Mirabelli - from timesofmalta.com

One of the biggest fashion scandals in this counrty over the last ten years is the amount of old, yellow gold jewellery that has been lost to the melting pot. The amount of beautiful jewellery workmanship that has been sold to various jewellers around the island, only to be melted and reworked is unbelievable.

If it were just ugly pieces or simple chains that were being melted, it wouldn’t be so bad but unfortunately, it is vintage, really intricate designs that I consider to be works of art, that we are losing. The recent exhibition Vanity, Profanity and Worship: Jewellery from the Maltese Islands, at Casino Maltese, did a brilliant job of highlighting what jewellery masterpieces have been created in this country over the years.

I can’t understand it, honestly! The western world goes crazy over all things vintage. I was in Krakow last September and over there, there are antique stores selling old jewellery everywhere. Why the same hasn’t happened here baffles me. Some vintage clothes-fashion has caught on but it is still really slow and it barely applies to jewellery.

Truth be told, there was a period were yellow gold became unfashionable. I was a teenager and if I’m being honest, refused to wear it for a few years. I quickly saw the error of my ways and today yellow and rose gold are my favourite metals. However, what happened is, that a lot of people never left the mentality of that period and kept looking at it with the utmost distaste.

The reality is that the fashion world picked it up again very, very quickly and nowadays it is considered far more fashionable than white gold or silver. If you need proof, just look at all the costume jewellery in high street stores, yellow metal options far outnumber the white metal.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped lots of Maltese people from continuing to melt their old gold. Very recently, I was in a jewellery store and this woman walked in asking for a price for a set of beautiful bracelets, I’m not qualified to conclude without proper examination whether or not they were antique but even if not, they were still worth more money than the jeweller was ever going to pay.

If you’ve ever considered selling your old gold, then hopefully this article might convince you to at least consider it carefully, or at least attempt to find a jeweller that will buy it as an antique piece rather than simply as weight in gold.