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What to Do With Old Jewelry? - Aurora Gems&Minerals

"Unlock the magic of repurposing jewelry – breathe new life into forgotten pieces. Explore selling or trading for a fresh start, turning unworn treasures into timeless delights. Discover the art of transformation today!"

11/10/20237 min read

what  to do with old jewelry
what  to do with old jewelry

What to Do with Old Jewelry

Have you ever found yourself rummaging through your jewelry box in search of a pair of earrings or a necklace, only to realize, "I never wear any of this"?

If the answer is yes, you're certainly not alone. Jewelry boxes often become a repository for pieces we once cherished and adorned ourselves with but have now become unwanted items. With time, they can accumulate broken or outdated amounts that we either can't or won't wear again.

If you're ready to embark on a bit of "winter cleaning" for your jewelry box, here are some suggestions for what to do with those old pieces. Whether it's turning earrings into necklaces or making a little extra money by selling them, there are various ways to breathe new life into your neglected jewelry collection.

Transform Unused Jewelry into Something New

Transforming your jewelry is a way to breathe new life into it. Whether you have sentimental attachments to the gemstones, perhaps passed down through your family, or possess a high-quality piece needing minor repairs to regain its luster, the next logical step is to connect with a provider like Alexis Jae, specializing in jewelry repurposing. When considering this process, seek out a jeweler experienced in custom work and take note of their craftsmanship.

Furthermore, repurposing jewelry aligns with sustainability values. By engaging in recycling, you contribute to reducing the environmental impact of mining, an issue becoming increasingly apparent. Moreover, repurposing might be the only avenue to obtain specific designs in the future. For instance, particular jewelers refrain from creating new coral jewelry designs due to their detrimental effects on coral reefs. Additionally, colored stones such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are non-renewable resources, making it crucial to reuse them whenever possible.

Creative Ways to Give Your Jewelry a New Purpose

Are you looking for items to upcycle items from your jewelry box? Consider these ideas—remember, the transformation doesn't always have to result in wearable items! You can repurpose some of your beloved fashion jewelry pieces while reserving the high-quality ones for your ongoing collection. Additionally, inquire with the jeweler about possibly receiving a gold credit for unused gold items.

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Transform Earrings into a Necklace

The optimal approach for stones of varying sizes is to integrate them into a graduated design. Graduated bar necklaces and tennis necklaces stand out as trendy choices.

Transform Small Diamonds into Timeless Elegance

Opt for a station necklace when you have stones of the same size; it's a consistently excellent choice. Even if only one-half remains, lost earrings can be repurposed into stylish station necklaces. These necklaces, as well as bracelets, can incorporate colored gemstones of any size. Mix and match different colored stones to create a unique and vibrant look.

Repurposing Old Diamonds for a New Ring

Whether your loose stones share the same size or differ entirely, they invariably exude a stylish charm when incorporated into a ring. We've crafted cigar rings with varying thicknesses and widths featuring different gemstones, and they consistently stand out as a highly favored option.

Give Your Jewelry a Modern Makeover

At times, your jewelry could use a little revamping. Transforming an existing necklace into a three or 4-prong setting or a bezel setting can make a significant difference. We also enjoyed giving a contemporary touch to this three-prong necklace through a revitalized setting.

Transforming Family Heirlooms into Something New

This item holds a special place in my heart as I transformed my grandmother's sapphire earrings into this beautiful bangle bracelet. It became my "something blue" on my wedding day.

Transform old wedding rings.

Reimagine your wedding ring post-divorce by turning it into a pendant or diamond stud. Explore our comprehensive article on The Glistener for ideas on what to do with an old engagement ring.

Transforming Family Jewelry into a One-of-a-Kind Piece

Vintage jewelry often carries sentimental value, making it perfect for crafting a distinctive piece that reflects your personality or family history. Our creations range from transforming old fishhooks to crafting intricate fish pendants.

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Give Hoop Earrings a New Purpose

Transforming pave-set stones from a ring band or hoop earrings can be an enjoyable and creative repurposing project. Consider opting for bar necklaces, as they are a straightforward choice, particularly if you're seeking a versatile piece for layering.

Other ideas:

  • Transform your old brooches, necklaces, or earrings into bookmarks by attaching them to a strip of ribbon.

  • Create a unique hairpiece, comb, or pin using a repurposed brooch.

  • Turn a brooch into a stylish cocktail ring.

  • Enhance a picture frame by incorporating more affordable stones, like rhinestones.

  • Crafting a custom camera strap gives a new life to costume jewelry, such as a string of pearls.

  • Revitalize vintage jewelry by incorporating it into belts for a stylish twist.

How many new pieces can you create?

When contemplating "trading in" your jewelry, it's common for people to think of repurposing as a one-for-one exchange. However, depending on your choices, you can often utilize the materials from one piece of jewelry to create multiple items.

For example, resetting diamond earrings into an engagement ring might provide enough material to make more than one ring. Similarly, if you decide to transform earrings into a necklace, you may have ample stones to craft a necklace, a matching bracelet, or even a couple of distinct chains.

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Is it possible to repurpose inherited jewelry?

Many find themselves in a dilemma when inheriting jewelry—perhaps a ring from grandma, a couple of necklaces from mom, and legacy pieces from other women in the family. The challenge arises when the received jewelry doesn't fit or align with their style, leading to a lack of wear. The question then becomes: Is it acceptable to repurpose it?

In such situations, there's no clear-cut etiquette. Many individuals choose and pass down jewelry with the intention that it can be worn in the present and passed on to future generations. Therefore, discussions about repurposing can surprise the individual and the memory associated with the jewelry. For instance, if your grandmother has passed and left you her pearls, others may remember her wearing them in their original form and altering them, even if technically yours, might need to be better received.

Upon receiving such a gift or when a loved one passes, giving it some time is advisable. Often, the best way to honor the memory of the person who left you this inherited jewelry is to wear it. Repurposing can be a meaningful option, especially if the jewelry doesn't fit or match your size. However, it may take time for others to accept this sentiment.

Sell jewelry for cash.

Selling your jewelry can be a great option, but it's crucial to consider a few factors. First and foremost, sentimental value often outweighs the desire to sell. Items like your mother's ring or grandmother's brooch, laden with sentimental significance, are usually better suited for repurposing rather than selling.

Another critical consideration is the quality of the piece. While costume jewelry is ordinary and nothing to be ashamed of, it generally lacks significant resale value, especially with local jewelers. On the other hand, fine jewelry, particularly those made from precious metals like gold, tends to hold value well, with gold jewelry often seeing an increase in value during periods of market uncertainty.

It's essential to do your research before selling. Understand the origins of your jewelry, the type of metal used, whether it's plated or filled, and if you have certificates verifying the quality of the stones. This information is valuable when dealing with a trustworthy jeweler who may assist you in determining the item's worth.

Consider the condition of the item as well. Whether gently worn, extensively used, or irreparably damaged affects its resale value. Even broken pieces may hold value, as skilled jewelers can transform them into something new. However, it's important to note that severely damaged items may fetch less weight.

When dealing with broken items in your jewelry collection, be aware that their resale value may be lower. Additionally, ensure you're well informed about the current price of gold and the gold weight of your items to get a fair deal. Opt for reputable outlets when selling your jewelry to ensure a transparent and honest transaction.

Trade in your jewelry

If you're keen on expanding your jewelry collection, consider the option of trading in items you wish to clear from your jewelry box. Many jewelers provide a trade-in credit slightly higher than their cash offer, mainly when dealing with diamond studs, engagement rings, or wedding bands. When making significant purchases, it's advisable to inquire about the jeweler's trade-in policy.

Opting for this approach offers several advantages. Firstly, you're upcycling your jewelry, preventing items from lingering unused or being discarded. Secondly, you're directly offsetting the costs of your next purchase.

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When considering a jewelry trade-in, you have various options, but not all are equal. While pawn shops, "We Buy Gold" dealers, thrift stores, or flea markets are possibilities, these transactions often resemble sales rather than trades. This may be more complex if your primary goal is to acquire new jewelry. Moreover, such dealings might be uncomfortable for those unfamiliar with bartering dynamics.

Alternatively, a more personalized option is contacting your local jewelry store to inquire about their jewelry trade-in program. Although they may need to assess your jewelry in person, this approach can put individuals at ease, especially if they anticipate collaborating with the jeweler on future custom designs. It's advisable to consult the original jeweler first, as they may offer the best value for the trade-in.

Final Thoughts

Remember, there's no purpose in keeping jewelry that you don't wear. If you have items lingering in your jewelry box because they're broken, don't suit your style, or were trendy pieces that no longer fit your taste, take action! Consider selling them, trading them in, or repurposing them into a new design.

Repurposing is an excellent option for those with sentimental items they don't want to part with. If you're not wearing it in its current state, repurposing ensures you can make the most of its value and investment.