I've been working for a year to get my golden owl. I was 12 sections from the end, and now I've been switched to crowns.
It's a cruel world.
I know how you feel. I've been trying for more than a year to get my Dutch and French trees back to full gold by regilding two skills a day. Hadn't managed it so far, and now there's the Crown system. I think I'll start from the bottom and hope that that will upgrade some of the earlier skills at the same time.
In the Crowns FAQ, karint says this about your 'losing progress':
Don’t worry, you really didn’t. It may be surprising to find skills that were once gold are now colorful again, but all your lessons that were “completed” before are still completed. We also still track your strength for each word just like we used to.
We went one step further and actually used how many times you’ve seen the words in a skill and how many times you got those words right to determine whether to place you at Level 1, 2, or 3. Since levels get harder as you go up, we didn’t feel comfortable placing anyone at Level 4 or 5, since the old system didn’t give hard enough exercises to place into these levels. Of course, if you already know the language very well, this may not be the right level. But, it is still more challenging than what was offered before.
Hope this helps.
Best of luck on your re-gilding!