Being in the custom jewelry design business often entails a client coming to us with an existing piece that they’d like to repurpose. Often times, it’s a fairly simple process. However, sometimes it is much more involved. Here are five things to consider before having a piece of jewelry repurposed.
1. Know the value of the piece you want to repurpose
Is the piece of jewelry worth the cost of having it repurposed? Even if it is not a piece of high financial value, I often have clients who move forward with repurposing because their piece carries sentimental value. Sometimes the piece is so lovely and antique you may decide that it is better to be worn as is. Or we can use part of it melding the old with the new.
2. Expect the unexpected
You can look at repurposing a piece of jewelry basically as a renovation. As is typical of nearly every type of renovation, it often holds many, many surprises. The original piece may be compromised in someway while it was being worn or while the stones were being set, this may make some of the materials unusable or damaged. You may have a particular style in mind however the stones you wish to repurpose would require modifications an existing design so a new design may need to be created for those stones. There may be several options offered all of which come with varying price points, having a budget in mind will help guide the design options. As ideas are discussed and options are offered as your piece reveals itself, that’s why an open mind is a beautiful thing!
3. Reuse the metal you have from an existing piece
There are many times you might be able to contribute another piece of jewelry you don’t wear to the repurposing of a new piece. Say you have a necklace with a stone pendant that isn’t your style that you’ve decided to have repurposed. Instead of paying a higher price for more raw materials, you might also consider having those gold earrings from the eighties you never wear anymore melted down to play a role in making your pendant adaptations. While we do not melt down individual pieces to go directly into another piece we can give money back for gold or platinum.
Something you should know about buying gold back, gold that has already been worked needs to be refined and the impurities removed. The metal we use has gone through this process and is recycled this way in order to keep the quality of the metal. This is usually done in larger quantities. The cash buy back is less than cost, which is much lower than most people paid when they bought the piece at retail. Although, gold prices are going up and may be higher than when you bought it 30 years ago.
4. There are some easy fixes
Usually in life, “there’s no such thing as an easy fix,” rings too true. Luckily, that is not always the case in jewelry repurposing. It doesn’t always mean you have to start over, sometimes it’s a simple as transforming a ring to a pendant by cutting off the shank and adding a chain.
5. Custom design can incorporate an existing design or use part of the existing piece
I had one client with a pair of gorgeous tourmaline earrings, originally set by another designer in a rich, 22 carat, beautifully textured setting. We were able to keep the gems in their original bezel and just replaced the top part of the earrings with a new design.
Need more information? Contact us, we are happy to help and have lots of ideas.