Magical were the days when my mother had time to share the stories contained in her jewellery box. As she spoke, I handled the precious baubles safeguarded in velvet-lined compartments, and I can still feel the smooth pearls, sharp pins and the weight of the gold brooches in my small fingers. Each ring, clip earring and pendant had a story and each was another piece of the puzzle that made up my past. The magic was in imagining the life and treasures before I was born - and the realisation that granny herself was once a young girl, presented with a pearl and diamond necklace on her 18th birthday. Fast forward to today. You, like me, try hard to be fashionable and chic. Perhaps you've inherited granny's jewellery too, yet for all your sentimentality, the pieces are so outdated it would take a Hogwarts' spell to make you wear any of it. That is, unless you reset the stones in a modern design. 'Creating new designs is a great way for people to rediscover the beauty of their stones, especially if their existing design is outdated and unappreciated,' says JJ Abram, of the family-run boutique Ronald Abram, who only resets stones originally purchased from him. You wouldn't be the first to consider resetting the gems in a family heirloom, although for branded jewellery in Hong Kong it is not a popular practice. Jewellers say if you do, proceed with caution. Resetting a stone can affect the value of a piece of jewellery. But how depends on a few things. 'Who made the original piece? Was it a famous jeweller? When was the piece made? If the piece is a real antique from a famous house, it might be better to keep it as is,' says Arnaud Bastien, general manager, Greater China, Graff Diamonds, who says his company seldom resets stones unless they know the customer and the piece was bought from them. However, if the piece was made recently, and by a local jeweller, then the new design is likely to improve the value of the piece. Generally, resetting should be reserved only for exceptional stones. 'It is always easier to buy a new piece that you can assess with your own eyes. You may be disappointed with the results after a resetting operation, and there is unfortunately no way back,' Bastien cautions. Bear in mind that nothing is wasted in the resetting process. Be it gold or platinum, small diamonds or other stones, everything is recycled in the industry and the jeweller should reduce or increase his invoice based on the material he has actually used from your original piece. When designing your new piece, the key is to get it out of storage and on display. So make it something you can wear comfortably and frequently. 'My advice to those looking to reset jewellery is to find a design they feel best suits their lifestyle. For example, if one has a very casual lifestyle there is no sense to create a formal setting. 'No one can ever go wrong with a simple, versatile design,' Abram says. Remember, this new piece with stones generations old will one day excite your granddaughter's imagination and remind her of who you used to be. Consider carefully Think twice about resetting stones, cautions Arnaud Bastien, general manager for Greater China at Graff Diamonds. Ask yourself these questions because the answers may affect the value of the piece as a whole. Is there any story behind the design? Was the design made by somebody famous? Is the stone fragile? Can it be damaged? Remember, there is always a risk of spoiling the stone during the resetting process. Have you seen a sketch of the new design? Are you able to identify that this is the same stone that was on your original piece? Choose carefully who will do the work and select a trustworthy party.