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How to Repurpose Stones from Old Jewelry

Updated on October 11, 2016

It’s not unusual to have a piece of jewelry that somehow never seems to make it out of the depths of your jewelry box. You may have several such items that you don’t know what to do with. Whether it’s a necklace you inherited that isn’t your style, a pair of earrings that you bought years ago that aren’t in fashion any more, or a ring that no longer fits, it’s a shame to see beautiful gems gather dust. But there’s no need to clutter your jewelry box with things you don’t wear. It’s easy to repurpose stones from old jewelry into new pieces that you’ll love.

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Think creatively: Stones taken from one piece of jewelry can be put into a completely different type of item. A large central tanzanite from a ring can become a pendant, or the emeralds from a brooch can become a necklace. Think about the kind of jewelry you prefer to wear when you are considering a new use for old stones.

Divide and conquer: If you have a piece that includes several stones, consider splitting them up to make multiple pieces. A topaz bracelet could be made into a pair of matching earrings, or an amethyst necklace could provide stones for a set of stacking rings. Just because stones were originally put together in one piece doesn’t mean they have to be kept together forever.

Put it together: On the other hand, you may have several pieces of unworn jewelry that only contain a few small stones each. These stones can be combined to create one new piece. This technique can be an excellent use for stones from orphaned pieces like stray earrings whose mate has been lost.

Change it up: Creating new jewelry with old stones is an opportunity to create a piece that truly appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to completely disregard the style of the original piece when you are selecting a new setting. Going from a traditional to modern aesthetic—or vice versa—or selecting white gold over yellow can completely transform the look of your stones, so consider all your options as you design.

Jewelers are accustomed to requests to put old stones in new settings, so you should not have any trouble finding a professional who looks forward to the challenge of making something new for you. Reusing old stones is a great way to turn an unused heirloom into an everyday favorite or give new life to an outdated piece of jewelry. You may find you already own the treasure of your dreams, just waiting for a new setting.

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