FoundRae converts broken jewellery into modern medallions

The FoundRae Ingot Program breathes new life into old jewellery pieces

gold medallion jewellery by FoundRae Ingot Program
(Image credit: Foundrae)

If you've ever been at a loss on what to do with a necklace that has a broken clasp or earrings that are missing their other half, luxury jewellery label FoundRae has a solution to turn the old into something new. Back by popular demand, its FoundRae Ingot Program invites clients to bring in their own pieces to be melted down and re-formed into a modern ingot medallion that is hand-engraved in-house.  

Requiring just 8-10 grams of gold or silver, regardless of carat – with additional 18ct gold responsibly sourced from small-scale mines available for purchase at market price if required – the programme was conceived by FoundRae's co-founder and creative director Beth Hutchens as a way for clients to experience how gold can be recycled repeatedly without degradation in quality. 

FoundRae Ingot Program: jewellery upcycled

gold medallion jewellery produced by FoundRae Ingot Program

(Image credit: Foundrae)

'Having an in-house studio gives us the ability to see the magical transformation of gold daily and I wanted customers to be able to experience it too,' shares Hutchens, who was inspired to create the ingot design after seeing the sterling silver ingots produced to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee in 1977. 'Seeing the gold melt, pool together and then reform somehow feels a bit transcendental.'

One hundred per cent of the proceeds will be donated to Ethical Metalsmiths, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fostering responsibility in jewellery. Clients can watch as their custom piece is made, the pieces first melted down in a crucible before the metal is poured into FoundRae's ingot loaf pan, and then milled to perfection. Only one piece of old jewellery, or roughly a two-inch chain, is required for the process, which takes place by appointment at FoundRae's Tribeca flagship boutique. 

gold medallion jewellery made using FoundRae Ingot Program, seen on woman's neck

(Image credit: Foundrae)

‘This is a wonderful opportunity for FoundRae's customers to witness the infinitely recyclable capability of gold, and the alchemy of transformation,’ says Monica Stephenson, Ethical Metalsmiths’ president of the board. ‘At Ethical Metalsmiths, we are always asking where materials truly come from, while reinforcing the importance of knowing the impact of our choices; gold is particularly complicated. We can all make a difference when we ask, “Where is your gold from?”‘ 

In keeping with FoundRae's ethos of creating meaningful, talisman-centric collections, the pendant has been intentionally designed to be inscribed with a message of your choice. The soft, ingot loaf shape, which already exists in FoundRae’s catalogue, can accommodate three to 18 letters, making it a clandestine canvas for a personal message, particularly when paired with one of the label’s substantial signature necklace or bracelet chains. Steeped in sentimentality on multiple layers, FoundRae’s unique programme is an ingenious way to rethink old pieces into something that can be worn again. 

The Ingot Experience starts at $500, and is available at 52 Lispenard Street, New York from 24-28 April 2023 before returning again later in the year.

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.