various vintage jewelry artfully arranged

Using Vintage Jewelry to Create Custom Pieces

Posted by Grogan Jewelers By Lon on Apr 27, 2022 12:12:00 PM

If you have vintage pieces of jewelry you’d like to give a new lease on life, or see transformed into something new, consider custom jewelry design!

Whether you are a collector, the beneficiary of an estate, stumbled across a find in an antique shop, or received a lovely heirloom from a near or distant relative, vintage jewelry is a lovely thing to find yourself in possession of.

And while something doesn’t necessarily have value due to its age alone, there’s something special about a piece that’s seen many lives, been handled by many hands, and brought a gleam to a thousand eyes.

Whether it’s a quality piece or a fine piece, vintage jewelry can suffer from a few age-related afflictions: damage, and obsolescence.

If you have a piece (or several pieces) of jewelry that are damaged, missing some stones, worn threadbare, or just fell out of fashion (and aren’t likely to come back) there’s another alternative to being abandoned at the bottom of your jewelry box!

What’s old is new again: custom jewelry design

Some pieces are sentimental to us; like your grandmother’s wedding ring or broach. Maybe it’s an old promise ring that’s sitting in your drawer. Or dad’s old watch. Perhaps it’s sentimental, but you’d like to see it symbolize a new start, or carry on a legacy in a way that’s relevant to the next generation.

And then there are those times when that piece of vintage jewelry is just plain ugly, worn out, broken, or busted to pieces. Not to mention those times when you don’t know a thing about the piece or didn’t have a bond with the previous owner but you still just can’t bear to part with it.

What do you do?

Vintage jewelry of quality can donate its parts, pieces, or even its entirety towards its own reincarnation! Experienced and passionate custom jewelers love these opportunities, and the joy of making what’s old, new again!

Things to consider when using vintage jewelry pieces to create a custom design

It’s important to understand the back story behind the piece so that the memorable or sentimental elements are preserved or respected in its next incarnation. But beyond our hearts, thoughts and memories is the actual construction and condition of the pieces in question to keep in mind.

Gold pieces or pieces that contain gold components are usually excellent candidates for a vintage jewelry makeover, and diamonds are generally easier to repurpose too. The reason for this is that gold is easy to melt down, recycle use, and fashion into something new, and diamonds are durable and are less likely to have experienced damage over their lifetime. Other band materials and stones are also good candidates, depending on their condition, what you intend to repurpose them into, and how skilled your custom jewelry designer is.

Speaking of your intentions, what would you like your vintage piece of jewelry’s next life to look like?

The great thing about using vintage pieces to make new pieces of custom jewelry is that earrings can be transformed into necklaces, necklaces into bracelets, rings into pendants, and anything in between!

While the sky's the limit, there are limitations to what different materials and stones can do, but an experienced custom jeweler will be able to help guide your design inspirations.

Antique jewelry is living its best life again

There is a lot of unused jewelry lying around dresser drawers, in shoeboxes, in safes, on jewelry trees, and in boxes. With the popularity of custom jewelry design gaining steam, it’s an exciting time to be a vintage piece!

Sometimes a full transformation isn’t needed. The diamond in your grandmother’s engagement ring might just need a new setting on a new band, or it might find other friends to nestle with from other pieces too.

Perhaps those sapphires would look better as earrings, or set against platinum or silver as opposed to gold. Prefer white gold to yellow gold? Your uncle’s ring is tacky but wants to be classy? There’s a whole new life out there to be lived for vintage jewelry, from mild to wild.

If you are looking for an experienced, passionate custom jeweler who would love to help you tell your vintage pieces’ story (or help you write an entirely new one!) Learn more about how we can help transform your heirloom or vintage jewelry into something you will want to wear everywhere!