March 10, 2010

Recycled jewelry

I admit this is a strange way to photograph jewelry, but my husband mistakenly thought I wanted to sell this pendant on ebay.

This is the recycled version of a necklace that my parents gave me when I graduated from college back in the 1980s. The old version was very "modern," and apropos of the era, it was asymmetrical. There was a lot more gold, sort of twisting and winding its way around the stones and taking center stage.

I wish I had thought to take a photo of it before I recently took it to a jeweler to have it remade. It had been sitting in a box in the top drawer of my dresser for over twenty years, and I knew I would never wear it again but didn't really have the heart to get rid of it.

Luckily I had the idea to have it remade when I realized that I might actually wear it if the design was more classic and less trendy. So I got a recommendation from a friend, and took it to a jeweler. The small diamond was from my grandmother's wedding ring, and I was going to have it set above the amethyst, but the jeweler suggested leaving it off to the side and just removing most of the gold accents. I liked the idea and this is how it came out. I love it!

And the best part is that not only do I have a lovely "new" piece of jewelry to wear, it cost me nothing because the price for the redesign was paid for by the extra gold that was removed.

So if you're craving some luxury but can't afford anything new, I suggest you raid your jewelry drawer for something that can be refashioned.

Have you ever remade/recycled fine jewelry? Please leave your stories in the Comments section.

9 comments:

Jenni said...

Fantastic Suggestion! And a lovely new design too!

Alea said...

The pendant is lovely! My grandma did this with several pieces. It is a wonderful way to create jewelry that you wear rather than letting it languish in the jewelry box.

Betsy Talbot said...

This is so smart, Angela. I love the way it looks and am going to steal your idea for my own jewelry box. What makes the story even better is that the extra gold you didn't like actually paid for your brand-new design. Now that is a Compact moment.

Marie-Josée said...

It's lovely, and so nice that you didn't have to sell/donate a gift that I'm sure had a sentimental value to you. Also great that you didn't have to dish out any cash! This is The Compact at its best.

rmlrhonda said...

What a fabulous idea! Thanks for sharing.

rupinder said...

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Forest Parks said...

That is awesome, you can pick up a load of old unfashionable dusty jewelry too and do something like this....

Thanks,
Forest.
http://frugalzeitgeist.com

Julie said...

I had an aquamarine ring (my birthstone) which my parents gave me for my 16th birthday in 1983. I never wore it in later years because the setting was also hideous, gold and asymmetrical. Last year, I had it taken apart and sold the gold. The stone itself is in a safe, waiting for the time when I can afford to have it reset. That will be a project for another time, maybe when I turn 50! I also had tiny diamond earrings which my grandmother had made from a pin my grandfather earned by working for Del Monte for 40 some years. (Such a sweet thing my grandma did!) My sister had a matching set but 2 daughters, so I gave her mine to pass along. I told them they can change the setting, it's the stone that is symbolic. This is probably the most beautiful way to recycle...

Mecha said...

I am in the process of this right now! I am bought a prong lifter, took out all the stones out of all the rings from the last 20+years and am having them all set into PMC (precious metal clay). The texture is going to be a take off from the ribs of a saguaro cactus and the stones will be scattered....looking forward to seeing the final piece. It still amazes me that someone else was interested in helping me with such a perfect 40 birthday present!