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How Repurposed Jewelry Can Save You Thousands Of Dollars!

Not everyone is going to the budget to design, from scratch, the jewelry that they want. Many of us have expensive tastes but shoestring budgets.

One of the ways to create beautiful jewelry for ourselves or loved ones is to use repurposed jewelry.

In this blog, we will talk about repurposing heirloom jewelry into two different gifts, as well as the considerations for each repurposing option!

What is Heirloom Jewelry?

Grandmother's Pearl Ring

Jewelry has always been a status symbol: royalty and nobles were often the only ones who had access to precious gemstones, metals, and artisans to make the jewelry. This has changed so much over many civilizations and societies that now everyone can access any kind of jewelry that they want.

For these reasons, many of us have accumulated jewelry that has belonged to our family, passed down through the generations. This jewelry represents many thoughts, feelings, hard work, sacrifice, and much more to the people who bought the jewelry. This is all considered heirloom jewelry.

Heirloom jewelry has become trendy over the last several years, driven by many celebrities who have been reusing their old pieces (or someone’s jewelry) in their fashion designs.

What is Repurposed Jewelry?

Loose Jewelry Materials For Repurposing

Most of us have jewelry that is just sitting in on velvet pillows or hanging in our bathrooms. This jewelry might have been handed down to us from family or could have been gifts from exes that we can’t part with but don’t wear. Everyone has these forgotten pieces, but what are we supposed to do with them?

We don’t always have to maintain the character or integrity of old jewelry, but it can be transformed into something brand new. Take, for example, that opal jewelry set you inherited from your grandma. You love opals, but nothing about the old rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings appeals to your sense of style or is even in your preferred metal color.

Many people might feel conflicted about repurposing old jewelry because they believe that it’s disrespectful to the people you inherited the jewelry from. Not all families will agree on how heirloom jewelry should be treasured, of course, but sometimes it is better to transform something old into something new, so it doesn’t just sit in your jewelry box.

There are multiple levels of transformation as well. A skilled jeweler can assess how your repurposed jewelry can be used and give you some options. Perhaps grandma's ring is too bulky for your smaller hands: you might want to remove some of the gemstones and slim down the ring’s profile. Or perhaps those earrings you inherited are clip ons, and you can’t stand clip ons.

One method to fix that would be to ask your jeweler to add a back to those earrings, changing up how the earrings are in the back but maintaining the look in the front. The possibilities are endless when it comes to changing up a design.

If you want to change your jewelry completely, you are giving it a new life! You should feel happy about your decision and empowered to create something that you genuinely want. Here are two suggestions for repurposing old jewelry into something new.

Create Unique Engagement Rings

Custom Diamond and Emerald Engagement Ring

Heirloom jewelry is perfect for creating unique engagement rings for your special someone!

Many modern brides are not going to want to wear grandma’s older ring: she will want something that is personalized to her. While she might appreciate grandma's ring and love that it has been passed down in the family, it might not be what she wants to wear for the rest of her life. She might prefer oval engagement rings over square, and grandma’s ring is square, bulky, and made of the wrong metal.

For that very reason, the savvy significant other can use repurposed jewelry to create something new and save money in the process!

When designing unique engagement rings, it’s vital to get your significant other’s input. Ask them many questions, such as:

  • Do you like the gemstones?

  • What kind of gemstones would you have from this necklace/ring/bracelet if you wanted to keep them?

  • Do you like this metal?

  • What type of metal do you like?

  • Is there a particular style of ring you like better than others?

  • Does this ring suit your finger? Do you want something more delicate or something heavier?

This list isn’t exhaustive, of course, and these questions are obviously not subtle: she will probably know why you are asking! But, if you want to reuse heirloom jewelry to create an engagement ring, this step can’t be ignored.

Create Modern Anniversary Gifts

Ruby and Diamond Earrings

Creating modern anniversary gifts out of repurposed jewelry is another great way to save money!

Not all jewelry is going to suit every style, especially if it’s a hand-me-down from grand or great-grandparents. Many older pieces are chunky and are certainly not trendy or fashionable in 2022. (Or maybe it might be, depending on the fashion circles you are in!) Other pieces might be very dainty, and your loved one might want something more dramatic.

If you want to preserve the piece's character, you might consider having a jeweler change certain parts of the piece to suit your particular style.

If you are more interested in creating something brand new, there are at least two options on how you can reuse old jewelry to create modern anniversary gifts.

Take out any gemstones: Since many older pieces have precious and high-value stones, you can choose to just keep the gemstones and reuse them. For example, any loose gemstone from a ring could be reused and repurposed into a necklace, or vice versa.

Melt Down The Metals: If you aren’t worried about preserving the character of any of your heirloom jewelry, melting down any pieces into their base materials is an excellent way to create repurposed jewelry. With purer metals like gold and silver, having these to mold into rings or necklaces is a great way to save money since you are bringing your own metals.

Please note: make sure that you don’t do this yourself! Although there are many internet methods, it's best to use a professional.

Saving Money with Repurposed Jewelry

Repurposing Old Jewelry Can Save You A Lot Of Money

So why would using old jewelry save you money, and how could it save you thousands of dollars?

Essentially, you are providing the raw materials that your jeweler can use to create a more modern anniversary gift. You don’t have to pay for the gold or loose gemstones that they would naturally provide for you. What you end up paying for is their time and experience, rather than their time and all of the materials.

It’s crucial that you consult with your jeweler before making any decisions about melting down any of your jewelry. Although most old pieces are going to contain a high gold, silver, or even platinum content, many pieces might just be costume jewelry that looks just like the real thing. You go into a consultation expecting to save money on your metals when in fact, you won’t save that much money.

The same can also be said of any gemstones in your jewelry. Many appraisers will be able to tell you how much your stones are worth, so don’t assume you have a gold mine on your hands!

We Will Help You with Your Repurposed Jewelry

We know that sometimes options are overwhelming, especially when you know that you want to reuse your jewelry but aren’t sure how. Or, you have an entire jewelry box full of heirloom jewelry that you just don’t know what to do with. Providing direction on designs or giving advice is our specialty!

Carats and Stones provides experts and artisans who can help! We are highly skilled at designs using repurposed jewelry, as well as consulting on any other jewelry projects you have!

You can visit our San Francisco store to speak to one of our designers or book a virtual consultation here!

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