You Can Upcycle Inherited Jewelry Into Something New

If you have ever been the recipient of an heirloom jewelry inheritance that doesn’t fit your style or that you are just not that thrilled about, you can still enjoy it by upcycling it into something new that is more in line with your style. “Heirlooms, by definition, are family possessions passed down from generation to generation. Heirloom jewelry exists in two forms — there's heirloom jewelry made of high-quality metals and precious gemstones whose design exhibits exquisite craftsmanship, and there's the heirloom that may be lacking in quality elements but has deep sentimental value. Sadly, that heirloom, no matter what its form, may not be right for you” (JewelryWise). The biggest issue many have with the jewelry they inherit is that is very much old fashioned and in style that fit their fashion and regular jewelry styles at all- this can make it hard to wear them.

Upcycle Inherited Jewelry

There are many examples of people inheriting jewelry that is just not a good fit for them. It might be a fancy brooch and you are not a fan of brooches or pins at all. It may be a pair of earrings that used crystal instead of diamonds or fancy rings set in silver when you are allergic to silver. It could be a ring with older style diamonds that are duller and not as sparkling as modern cuts are. Or it might be a bracelet of beautiful gemstones in a very ugly setting. You may love the stones but not the metal used, you may like the look of the piece but it’s just not something you would wear, or you may like the memories of the person the piece came from but that is about it. What do you do in these situations? You can look at how to upcycle inherited jewelry. 

Take it to a Jeweler 

Rather than leaving those old jewelry pieces sitting in a box collecting dust and never getting worn or talked about, you can take them to a jeweler and have the see what new pieces they can turn them into for you.  Achieving this transformation from old to new has become very popular in the last decade or so and many jewelers offer this service!

The possibilities are as varied and beautiful as can be:

  • Turn an old-fashioned style diamond pendant into a new modern style ring by taking the diamond and placing them in a new ring base you design.
  • Repurpose an old or damaged ring that you still care about into a pendant to wear on a necklace or a bracelet.
  • Take the diamonds or other gemstones from a pair of gaudy earrings and set them into a bracelet or new pin that you can wear with pride! 
  • Pearls can easily be cleaned and restrung into shorter or longer strands and mixed with other pearls for a whole new look that is stylish and beautiful. 
  • A quiet gemstone like opal or a darker stone can be given a beautiful new and sparkly halo by setting smaller diamonds around it to brighten it up.
  • Is the setting of the piece that is throwing you off or making it where you can’t wear a piece? Keep the stones and change the metal for a new setting.
  • An unworn engagement ring can be used as a unique engagement ring for your own personal needs down the road!
  • A collection of gold hoop earrings can be combined and turned into a unique pendant for a necklace that no one else will have. 
  • A gold necklace set with gemstones or beautiful gold chains can be shortened and turned into a bracelet.
  • You can also mix and match pieces- gold chains from a necklace and stones from an earring set and an old ring can be turned into a stunning bracelet!

What all of this means is, if you don’t like the piece of jewelry you have been given you can mix and match and create stunning new pieces that you will love. Your options when it comes to your decision to upcycle inherited jewelry is limited only by your imagination and the skills of the jeweler who is creating the piece!

Be Thoughtful and Respectful 

Jewelry brings with it a deep, personal meaning to the owner, and you may not always feel those same connections, especially if the piece is from a family member you did not know well or personally have no real connection to. If the original owner is still alive, be sure to discuss your thoughts and plans with them to ensure no one is offended or hurt. If the original owner has passed then use your best judgement to determine the best way to make their pieces into something that will be sued, treasured and worn with warm memories. Before you make a step to go ahead and upcycle inherited jewelry into something new you need to make sure you absolutely do not want to keep the piece as it is now.

It can, however, be hard to take apart beautiful original pieces, so be sure you're ready for a new lease of life for your jewels. [The jeweler] has recently converted a beautifully made antique brooch into nine rings. "The family couldn't justify keeping it as a brooch - they didn't wear it - so we are now using the diamonds to make a recycled eternity ring for the client and her three daughters, as well as diamond stacking rings for her five granddaughters' 21st birthdays" (TheJewelryEditor).

Heirloom jewelry most often has a story and some memories behind it that makes it special or sentimental and worth keeping in the family in some form. Redesigning a piece that doesn’t work for you in terms of style is a good way to preserve those memories and pass on that legacy and family story to the next generation. 

Contact Us Today

We hope this gives you some ideas about what to do with inherited jewelry. Whether you are looking for an appraisal, trying to find a buyer, or are looking at options for upcycling old pieces, we invite you to come see us today here at Karat Jewelry Group. We would love to work with you on whatever pieces you have. Call us today or come by- we are here for you!