How to Repurpose Old Jewelry into New Jewelry

How to Repurpose Old Jewelry into New Jewelry

Author: Marc Choyt | Thursday, April 15, 2021

Above, an example of converting a ring into a necklace.

Last updated: 4/15/2021

 

If you are looking for a jeweler to repurpose jewelry, diamonds, gems, and/or gold or silver to create an exquisite custom design, you’ve found the right place!

We can repurpose vintage jewelry, convert a ring into a necklace, or repurpose rings to make anything from a pavé broach to a simple comfort fit wedding band. 

For example, we redesigned this old wedding ring from our client’s grandmother. The project involved resetting inherited diamonds and using old gold, allowing her to wear her connection to her ancestors:

 

We redesigned this old wedding ring, resetting inherited diamonds and using the old gold!

 

Do you have some old gold laying around and want it fashioned into redesigned jewelry that you’ll really love? Why not turn it into a custom bracelet?

When it comes to redesigned jewelry, we can reuse your old gold to make anything — even a custom gold bracelet, as shown.

One of an infinite number of ideas for old wedding rings… that we can make!

 

This is crazy, but it gets better:


High gold prices mean that melting old jewelry into jewelry (or most any redesign jewelry project) can save you a lot of money. Jewelers typically a have high mark-up for materials, but when using your own precious metal and gems you’ll pay only for labor.

By now, you may be thinking: "OK, but can I trust this company?"  

YES! But don’t just take our word! Check out our 155+ Five-Star Google Reviews.   

You can even visit us in our Santa Fe, NM gallery!

Our studio and gallery is located at 912 Baca St in Santa Fe, NM. Come visit us, and we'll even give a tour showing how we make our jewelry by hand!

We’re a small company of six people, including four jewelers. We have an A+ BBB rating, and have been in business for over 25 years.

 

This article provides you some of the most comprehensive information on what you can do with old jewelry: including the methods we use, costs, and next steps. 

The bottom line is: 

If you want to redesign old jewelry or repurpose vintage jewelry into something that you’ll cherish, we can do it! 

AND, we can do it at a very fair pricing, which we explain later in this article.

For now, take a look at our before and our redesign jewelry projects.

 

Examples of Creating New Jewelry from Old Jewelry

One of our customers had wedding rings with small oak leaf motifs. For his update old jewelry project, we mainly used his coin.   

In converting a ring to a necklace, we can use any old gold scrap!

When repurposing old jewelry into new, we can use old gold coins or any old gold scrap!

 

 

What this project illustrates is that it doesn’t really matter whether we're receiving old earrings, coins, chains or rings-- it all works when creating new jewelry from old jewelry.

Here’s another jewelry redesign before and after project: resetting a diamond into a custom wedding ring redesign:

Resetting diamonds from inherited jewelry into new diamond ring designs is just one example of the work we're capable of as custom jewelers!

We used our client’s gold to create this ring by hand in our studio. We'll reset your diamonds or other gems into any design!

 

In the next example, we used the diamonds from a Grandmother’s ring and made a more classic contemporary design from our own collection:

Redesigning a ring inherited from your grandmother can be a beautiful way to honor her memory, while staying true to your own sense of style.

What’s really cool is this:

It's not possible to turn white gold into yellow gold.  BUT, if you send us yellow gold and you want white gold ring, we can trade out the metal for you.  This, again, saves you money!

 

What to Do with Old Gold Jewelry?

Honestly, if you want to update old jewelry, the options are endless.  Let's review a few examples of old wedding ring redesign-- that is, ideas of old wedding rings.   

The rings to the left were passed down through two families.  From them, we created monogrammed cufflinks made from old family worn at a new wedding.  Symbolically, the family's old wedding rings became a talismanic piece to represent continuity from old generations to the next. 

Turn four old wedding rings into a pair of cufflinks? No problem! We can recycle old wedding rings into any sort of new jewelry design.

 Jewelry redesign, before and after, can be infinitely imagined! 

 

We could have just as easily converted the rings into a necklace, using the round disk as the basis and adding new designs.

With this project below, we created a variation of our Interlace Cross from an old wedding ring.   You can see on the ring below to the left that there is a bit of gold in the silver.  No matter.  We melted it all together.  The silver from the ring to left formed the base of the new cross to the right:

 

We can turn an old wedding ring into a cross pendant necklace when redesigning old jewelry.

 

Another example where we turn wedding ring into a pendant: A gentleman had just lost his wife, and wanted her ring turned into a very simple cross:

We can turn a wedding ring into a cross pendant, or turn a ring into any sort of necklace.

 

We have a broad selection of Cross designs — but you can also send us an image of what you’d like, and we'll make it for you!

In this next project turning a ring into a necklace, we used an old wedding ring from a cherished family member to fabricate the circle incorporated in this classic Celtic Trinity Knot motif:

 

Reusing an old wedding ring from a cherished family member is a beautiful way to honor loved ones.

 

Because there was extra gold from this recycle wedding ring project that we did not use, we treated this as a credit — purchasing the gold at 93% of its spot value.  

 

Repurpose Vintage Jewelry 

We often repurpose vintage jewelry, whether it be old chain, rings, or necklaces. This particular custom jewelry from old jewelry project involved turning the old chain to the left into two new wedding rings.  In the bottom ring in the photo below, we added some of our silver and hammer set it. 

 

To repurpose this vintage jewelry, we turned a bracelet into two wedding rings of our own design.

When upcycling old jewelry, we can also create our own designs! Our Simplicity Engagement Ring is top, above our River Ring.

 

This next project repurposing vintage jewelry involved removing diamonds and melting the gold on the left to create the custom ring on the right:

This redesigned jewelry project involved repurposing old gold rings into this new custom three-tone diamond ring design.

 

And below, another example of a repurposed vintage jewelry project in which we took the stones out and made a more simple, elegant band:

We can repurpose vintage jewelry and diamond rings into more contemporary redesigns.

 

And, then there’s this job, where we made a signet ring modifying the floral design shown in the ring above to the left:

The cost of redesigning old rings is greatly reduced by using your own gold!

 It was positively BADASS — as Mr. King expresses below in his own words!

 

What to Do with Old Wedding Rings After Death: Combining Two Rings into One

Redesigning wedding rings after death is a poignant way to remember your Beloved. In this instance, a man contacted us after he lost his wife. We combined two rings into one: his wife’s engagement ring and his wedding ring.

 

We can easily combine two rings into one—a great way to honor your loved one if you're not sure what to do with their wedding ring after death.

 

In this process of combining two rings into one, or any update old jewelry project,  we can use any gemstone.

We are always honored to do these kinds of projects. 

Here is another example: 

When repurposing old jewelry into a new wedding ring redesign, we don't have to reset your diamonds! We will return any stones that you don't want remounted.

 We always return the diamonds that we don’t use for your new redesign jewelry project. 

 

Update Old Jewelry and Redesign Wedding Rings

The process of melting old jewelry into new jewelry opens up infinite possibilities.

One of our customer's repurposed jewelry ideas was to take her grandfather’s ring and turn it into one our Marcello style.

This wedding ring redesign left us with enough extra gold to create a pendant from the wedding ring, too.

In this old wedding ring redesign, we separated the white gold from the yellow gold. Then, we melted each piece of gold separately to create an ingot.

 

We had to create separate wire in our rolling mill to shape and form the old gold in this old wedding ring redesign.

We had some extra gold from the ring which we melted together. For Grandma, who would be attending the wedding, we were able to convert the ring to a pendant — creating this heart pendant jewelry redesign from her late husband's gold ring.  

Here's a better look:

 

More Ideas for Old Wedding Rings

Many times, our clients want custom jewelry from old jewelry that’s completely one-of-a-kind. The only limit to any jewelry redesign project is your imagination!

Shown here, we created this wavy wide ring with its organic form:

In wedding ring redesign, turning four wedding rings into one is no problem, either!

Another example of jewelry redesign before and after! We send the unused gems back to our customers.

 

In this next reuse diamonds from engagement ring project, we did something that is a little more classic and contemporary:

We can combine two rings into one, or even combine four rings into one! Redesigning wedding rings is completely up to you.

This project was a totally custom design.  

 

Custom Repurpose Jewelry Design

Very often the best option is to simply to create a custom jewelry design from an old wedding ring, resetting dimaonds.

Sometimes we work with a simple drawing to hand-make a new piece:

We can work with your sketch for your jewelry redesign, as shown here.

We reset diamonds, but did not use the customer’s gold. The project cost $2200.

 

Now, for something completely different:

Wondering how to recycle a wedding ring? Why not turn it into a brand new wedding ring redesign! Check out this before and after.

We resused this customer's gold and diamonds to create a completely new design ring, featuring a gorgeous tanzanite.

And in the job below, we reset our customer’s gorgeous sapphire, and ended up using just two old diamonds in new custom ring — returning the customer’s extra diamonds:

We can redesign a gemstone ring, such as shown in this before and after jewelry redesign featuring a sapphire ring.

Almost all of our redesign old jewelry projects turn out to be custom work. You can get a greater sense of our custom jewelry process here

Here’s the bottom line: 

It doesn't matter what your existing gold jewelry or gems looks like — it's what you imagine!

This woman had a baby bracelet and a silver spoon. Here’s what we made:

Now that you’ve seen samples of our work, you may be wondering: how do we do it?   

Continue on to the next section to see. 

 

How We Redesign Old Jewelry

What makes us extremely unusual among jewelers who do redesign jewelry projects is both our unique capacity and the extraordinary personal service we provide. 

We are old-world style artisan makers. Our four jewelers have over eighty years of combined bench work experience.

This video gives you an inside peek to our studio:

 

Now: here's how it works:

Once we receive your pieces, we remove the gemstones — which we retain to set in your new piece. Then, we employ one of two different approaches:

 

First, we are makers and designers.  

We are experts in hand fabrication, which allows us to take on jewelry redesign project that require a certain set of skills that are relatively rare in today’s high-tech world.  

After we melt down to an ingot, we put your gold through a rolling mill, which creates a wire. This wire is bent and shaped to make an old ring into anything, from a wedding ring redesign to a project converting a ring to a necklace:

 

 

A few more of the steps to repurpose old gold jewelry into new jewelry.

 

The process above resulted in this ring:

 

For this wedding ring redesign, we reset the customer's old diamonds and gemstones in the new piece.

 

Here’s my key point:

In the world of repurposed jewelry ideas, we are, essentially, a rare and endangered species: makers and artisans who work with their own hands using fabrication methods that are hundreds of years old.  

 

But as for the Second making style: we can employ high-tech jewelry redesign methods:

Some repurposing jewelry projects are extremely technical and require drawings and carvings that are computer-generated. This can be particularly true if we are using old diamonds in new rings, such as with channel or pavé settings.

For an eternity band, we will want to render images off computer-generated files.  

This jewelry redesign before and after illustrates my point: 

 

We consulted extensively with the customer, and used CAD/CAM software to redesign her engagement ring diamond and husband's wedding band into one new ring.

 

This is another example of redesigning a wedding ring after death.   

A woman who had just lost her husband wanted to combine his ring with her engagement ring diamond. She sent the gold that she had and a style that would symbolize not just her loss, but would give a sense of an underlying unity and wholeness at the same time.  

The cost of this project, in which we provided the small melee diamonds, was $1600. Part of this was paid for with gold leftover from the project itself. 

The next section focuses on the pricing for our services:

 

Cost of Repurposing Jewelry 

You may be wondering: "How much does it cost to get a ring made?"

Redesign jewelry cost depends upon the time and material involved in production.  

In context to ring redesign cost, it can be as little as $450 — for example, for our comfort fit flatted topped ring or our comfort fit domed ring:

 

Create a brand new comfort fit wedding ring using your old gold jewelry!

Making new rings from old need not be too expensive... Learn more about comfort fit rings here and see our selection here.

 

Note that our wedding ring redesigns are high-quality feel — 2mm thick at the dome (or in the center) of our comfort fit.

In many redesign wedding ring projects, our clients want two rings. If the second ring is the same width and metal, it costs $250.  

The classic wedding ring resign cost remains the same regardless of the size of the new ring.  

In context to resetting engagement ring cost, or resetting diamond rings cost, assuming we have to make a new ring, the base cost is still $450.  

I’ll explain the cost of resetting diamonds and gems themselves below. 

 

Custom Design Ring Cost

If the project involves custom jewelry from old jewelry and we go with computer to wax, very basic designs start at $650.    

In terms of cost, the reset diamond ring cost of the design below (not including the engraving and interior-set gemstones) would be $950. 

 

We can create any engagement ring or jewelry design using CAD/CAM software, as well as traditional handmade techniques.

 

We can make any custom jewelry from old jewelry design that you can possibly imagine. 

 

Sometimes when we’re using old diamonds in a new rings we will end up doing hand-carved wax. Our shop time is $100 an hour for this work. 

Regarding resetting diamonds into a new ring cost—it depends on the size. We can flush-set (that’s the style shown in the interior of the band above) for $39 each, but the loose diamonds have to be under 3mm or they will poke through the ring.

Resetting larger gemstones, whether they be in prong- or bezel-set mounts, varies depending on the size of the gemstone, cost of material, and time involved in the resetting of the diamond.   

If you have a big project but are on a budget, here are a few ways to offset costs:

 

Budget-Saving Options For Your Jewelry Redesign

For some redesign old jewelry projects, there's not enough gold to do the job.

Suppose, for example, your ring size is a ten and you want a 6mm-wide ring. You have your grandpa’s size 8 ring, and it’s 4mm wide. You need more gold. If you’re doing custom redesign jewelry project via CAD/CAM, we definitely need a third at least of extra material just to create a sprue that attaches to the wax.

While we can use recycled gold or Fairtrade Gold, sourced from this mine to make up the difference, the price is currently at record levels. Here are just three other options:

 

We’ll buy your extra gold! 

 If you want to know, “where can I get my gold melted down,” send it to us! We’ll purchase it at 93% of spot price and put it toward the cost of your jewelry redesign project. Spot price is based on the London Bullion Market the day we receive your material.

We can also recycle your old scrap jewelry as part of wedding or engagement ring redesign. We can a chain with an old wedding ring to make new rings from old, or turn a ring into a pendant.   

 

We can reduce the karat of your gold

You may not have enough 14K (58.3% gold content) in the rings you send me. Adding alloy might take your finished ring down to 10K, which might be enough for you. The ring will have less gold content, but still look like gold. The cost for this is $25.

 

We can trade your white gold for yellow gold

Suppose you want a yellow gold or rose gold ring and you only have white gold to send me. I will trade out your gold for the desired color, one to one. The cost for this is $50. I exchange your gold at 93% of its spot value. 

 

Here’s my critical point:

We love to update old jewelry. If you’d like to turn old jewelry into new, are wondering how to repurpose old jewelry or what to do with old earrings, or in general are unsure what to do with old jewelry, contact us for a free consultation.  

 

This is our current collection of scrap gold we purchased from customers to use for their redesigned jewelry and remade wedding rings projects.

This is our current collection of scrap gold purchased from customers for their jewelry redesign projects.  This gold was used as trade.  We by gold at 93% of its value towarod a new jewelry project. 


Next Steps For Repurposing Jewelry With Us

If you have an idea, feel free to email us your idea or sketch on our custom jewelry page. You don’t have to be an artist! We can work with you. 

Need more reasons to work with us?

No phone labyrinths. No customer service agents. No “this call is being recorded…” 

With most projects, you and I (Marc) will work together directly — unless I am on vacation. Email me at Marc (at) Reflectivejewelry.com or call our shop at 888-733-5238.  

Send me a picture of grandma’s ring or that vintage ring redesign project and what you want to make. We can brainstorm, and I can quote you a price.  

Here are our store hours, though someone is often in the shop before and after these hours if you want to call us. If you want to visit us in-person, we are also available by appointment. And if you prefer (or are not located near us), we can set up a Zoom call for your redesign jewelry consult.

Looking forward to working with you!    

If you leave a comment with a question, please leave an email address so that I can answer you back!  

 

 

Marc Choyt is president of Reflective Jewelry, a designer jewelry company founded in 1995. He pioneered the ethical sourcing movement in North America and is also the only certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the United States. Choyt’s company was named Santa Fe New Mexico’s Green Business of the Year in 2019, and he has been honored with several awards for his efforts to support ethical jewelry. His ebook, Ethical Jewelry Exposé: Lies, Damn Lies and Conflict Free Diamonds, is available online. Choyt can be reached on Twitter at @Circlemanifesto or by email at marc(at)reflectivejewelry.com.



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Comments ( 18)

Posted by: Lydia on Aug 25, 2020
Hi! I have an inherited engagement ring from my parents with a 1 carat diamond that I’d like to have remade into something new. I have a design in mind. I’m curious how much this might run, including resetting the diamond?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 25, 2020
Hi Lydia, Cost really depends upon the design itself. Could you please just email me the design at Marc (at) Reflectivejewelry.com or text it to me at 505-699-8179. You can also call me at that number. Once I know that design I'll be able to give you a price quote.
Posted by: Larry blythe on Aug 31, 2020
Can a gold wedding ring be melted down and cast as a cross.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Aug 31, 2020
Hi Larry, Definitely, we can make a cross from an old wedding ring. Contact me at 505-699-8179 and we can discuss the project. We have done this before.
Posted by: Sandra on Sep 02, 2020
Hi, I have an inherited diamond I'd like to reset in a new ring. I saw a design I like online, but after reading up on it I'd really like to use Fairtrade Gold. Can I send you a picture of the ring I have in mind?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Sep 02, 2020
Hi Sandra, Definitely-- send me a picture!
Posted by: Tee Bibby on Sep 13, 2020
Good morning Marc, I'd like to get my old gold pieces (earings, rings, necklaces) melted down into a 18 in and 22 in rope necklaces. Is this possible? Tee
Posted by: Tee on Sep 14, 2020
Hi Tee, It might be possible. I just need to see what you want us to make. Some rope necklaces are machine made so I just need an image. Thanks for contacting us! Marc
Posted by: michael j christensen on Nov 23, 2020
Hello Marc, I'd like to use gold and diamonds from my parents wedding rings, plus my wife's original (now broken) wedding ring and small diamond, to make a new necklace for my wife. Happy to send you photos of what I have in hand, but don't have any design ideas. something simple is all that is needed. michael
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Nov 23, 2020
Hi Michael, Just send me the photos of what you have and then, perhaps, can we have a chat on the phone while you're on the computer? Or, can you send me any image of a style that you like so I know what direction to suggest? Happy to work with you and assist you with creating a new piece that you'll really love to have.
Posted by: jacqueline england on Jan 15, 2021
Hi, I have numerous rings 10K & 14K, with numerous gem stones and diamonds in them. I would like to have them melted down and a ring made in the image of the Cartier Love ring the 5mm or greater size. I realize It can not be made exactly the same but I love the styling of it, perhaps a moon and a couple of stars with diamond inserts in it. Not sure if I have enough 14K gold, but I have 10K as well. I am in Canada, so how do I go about getting a quote from you, and transferring the jewelry down to you. Thanks Jackie
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Feb 12, 2021
Hi Jacqueline, We can definitely make something quite similar to the Cartier ring, as we discussed. We cannot make an exact match, as that would be a copyright violation. But if we modify the circle design and a few other elements, we'd be good to go!
Posted by: Sonya Jones on Mar 11, 2021
We have a design in mind for engagement rings and wedding band but would like to use our silver rings with moisinite stones in the process is this doable? Have photos Looking to get online quote idea
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 12, 2021
Hi Sonya, to answer your question, yes! We can work with silver or gold, and whatever gemstones you provide. Feel free to contact me via email: marc (at) reflectivejewelry.com
Posted by: kim on Mar 24, 2021
Hello- I have some silver and turquoise jewelry I was hoping to be repurposed. It is currently a necklace and I was hoping to make into earring studs and a pendant. Is that something you do? Also, approximate cost? Thanks.
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 24, 2021
Hi Kim, We can definitely convert your jewelry into a necklace and earring studs. Without seeing what you have and what design you want, I can't quote you a price. If you can email all that to me I'd be happy to give you a quote. Thanks for your interest!
Posted by: Megan Campbell on Mar 24, 2021
Hi! I have a long strand of pearls from my grandmother that I am wanting to repurpose into a bracelet, what would this typically cost?
Posted by: Marc Choyt on Mar 24, 2021
Hi Megan, the answer is, definitely yes. Restringing necklaces generally run about $100. Beyond that, it depends what kind of clasp you might want-- we could use a lobster claw in silver or gold. We can discuss.

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