Jewelry Repurposing


What Jewelry Can You Repurpose?

When it comes to repurposing jewelry, the possibilities are virtually endless. Partnering with a skilled jeweler opens a world of creative redesign limited only by your imagination. From old watches and chains to bracelets, rings, pendants, and more, every piece holds potential for a stunning makeover.

Old rings can undergo a remarkable transformation, whether it's crafting them into new rings or converting them into bold necklaces. Imagine turning a dated ring into a striking bracelet or repurposing cufflinks into eye-catching earrings. Even a clunky pendant can find new life as a beautiful anniversary band.

Don't overlook broken jewelry—these pieces are prime candidates for repurposing and redesign. With the right vision and craftsmanship, you can breathe new life into old items, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that tell your unique story.

Waste Not, Want Not: Jewelry Recycling for Sustainability

Recycling jewelry metals and upcycling gems isn't just a trend—it's a commitment to sustainability. By repurposing old jewelry, you not only breathe new life into forgotten treasures but also contribute to reducing environmental impact.

The concept of recycling jewelry metals and upcycling gems has gained momentum as society grapples with the environmental toll of mining. Choosing repurposed gems over newly mined ones helps mitigate the adverse effects on ecosystems and communities. For instance, the decision to forego new coral jewelry production acknowledges the fragile state of coral reefs and their importance to marine biodiversity.

Colored stones like rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, though non-renewable, find new purpose through repurposing and redesign. These durable gems, often passed down through generations, hold timeless beauty and sentimental value. Take, for example, the iconic sapphire brooch gifted by Queen Elizabeth to Princess Diana, later transformed into a pendant adorning a pearl necklace. Today, the diamonds from this pendant grace the Duchess of Sussex's engagement ring, showcasing the enduring allure of repurposed gems.

For Something Old AND New, Redesign Old Jewelry into the Perfect Engagement Ring

Looking for an engagement ring that blends tradition with sustainability? Repurposing diamonds and gemstones offers a unique and eco-friendly option for crafting your dream ring. Whether you've inherited jewelry rich in sentimental value or stumbled upon a vintage piece in need of restoration, upcycling gems into new wedding jewelry is a sustainable choice that also honors family history.

Resetting an Heirloom Diamond or Gemstone

Breathing new life into an heirloom ring preserves its legacy while reflecting your personal style. Quality materials from inherited jewelry can be repurposed by resetting stones into new settings or recasting metals for a fresh look. Jewelers often offer options to recycle metal, discounting the cost of creating a new ring if you choose to reuse only the gems. Additionally, you can explore creating multiple designs with the metal or save it for future repurposing or resizing, ensuring every piece carries its own story.

When considering an engagement ring with a reset diamond or gemstone, selecting the right jeweler is paramount. Trusted family jewelers, like Carats & Stones, understand the significance of heirloom pieces and specialize in redesigning jewelry across generations. Their familiarity with your family's jewelry history ensures a seamless process from concept to creation, preserving cherished memories for three-to-four generations and years to come.

Creating New Jewelry from Old Jewelry

Not all treasures are inherited—some are discovered in unexpected places, waiting to be transformed into something uniquely yours. Perhaps you've stumbled upon the perfect stone at an estate sale or found a vintage setting that speaks to you. Even vintage earrings, brooches, necklaces, and bracelets hold the potential to become exquisite components of your one-of-a-kind engagement ring.

Certified Appraisal and Material Confirmation

Before beginning your jewelry transformation journey, it's essential to ensure the quality of the materials. A certified jewelry appraisal can confirm the authenticity and value of the components you wish to repurpose. At Carats & Stones, our custom jewelry designers can assist with this appraisal, providing peace of mind as you embark on your redesign project.

Collaborating with a Custom Jewelry Maker

Once you've gathered your materials and confirmed their quality, it's time to bring your vision to life with the help of a skilled custom jewelry maker. Finding a reputable jeweler near you is key to translating your ideas into a stunning reality.

Blending Tradition with Technology

While modern technology offers powerful design tools, we believe in merging innovation with tradition for an unparalleled experience. Our approach combines on-screen designs and computer software with hands-on craftsmanship, allowing you to not only visualize your creation digitally but also feel its size and weight in person. This holistic approach ensures that your custom jewelry perfectly aligns with your vision and exceeds your expectations.

Ideas for Old Wedding Rings: Create a New Future, No Matter the Past

Are you looking to transform a piece of jewelry with negative memories attached to it into a treasured new design you can feel more positive about? After a divorce, many are left wondering what to do with their wedding jewelry—redesigning your wedding ring after a divorce is an excellent way to celebrate you and your new life!

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Signal a fresh start and take your wedding and engagement rings out of your jewelry box and back into the world with a design that is brand new and all about you. New metals can surround old settings, or you can use the metals and gems from your old jewelry to create something novel with a life of its own. Whatever your heart desires, incredible jewelry can come from recycled materials regardless of what they used to symbolize.

Turn an old engagement ring into a new necklace and earrings

The only limit to what you can create with your old wedding jewelry is your imagination. While many choose to form a new ring for their right hand out of the materials from their engagement and wedding rings, others prefer to use the materials to create entirely new custom designs.

An engagement ring similar to our Julianna engagement ring design, for example, provides plenty of opportunities to create one or more new pieces of jewelry, as seen here:

Reusing diamond jewelry for a second marriage

While not everyone is comfortable with it, many couples who consider reusing the diamonds from their previous wedding jewelry to create a new design for a second marriage. Among those who are uncomfortable with the idea, the most common reason given is superstition or a belief that the stone is now attached to a “failed” marriage.

In reality, it is likely that one or more people wore every diamond you have ever owned. Even if a stone has been in your family for generations, it’s unlikely that it wasn’t in circulation before your family took ownership of it. Nearly every diamond that has ever been mined is still in circulation, and approximately 1 in 10 diamonds sold today are pre-owned.

If you have invested in quality diamonds or gemstones and do not hold superstitions about reusing the items, there is no reason not to consider the possibility. After all, you chose the materials for your previous wedding jewelry because you loved them and would be happy to wear them every day. If you included heirloom diamonds or gems in your original engagement ring and wedding band, you might be even more inclined to incorporate them into the jewelry for a second wedding.

If you are planning to propose and are considering reusing the materials from a previous marriage, however, you should discuss this with your partner. While it may be important to you to incorporate your heirloom items in some way, if your partner will be the one to wear them, their comfort and feelings should take top billing. If you are both in agreement that repurposing your old wedding jewelry is the way to go, your trusted jeweler can help you design an entirely new ring using the old materials so that it will fit your partner’s style and finger perfectly.

Upcycled Jewelry Ideas to Take Jewelry From Trendy to Timeless

Need an updated style? We have all seen the trends in fashion come and go, and the same goes for jewelry. The aesthetic from one era does not always translate well into the next, but it might take less than you think to make the conversion.

Just like taking the shoulder pads out of a smart business suit from the 80s, updating a piece of jewelry can be as simple as adding a new chain to upgrade an old pendant, or swapping in a modern setting for an old stone. Custom jewelry designers can transform a simple design into a showstopper, or a flashy one into flawlessly understated.

Jewelry redesign lets your jewelry grow with you

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While many will think of inherited jewelry or old wedding jewelry when they hear of jewelry redesign, it is not uncommon for adults to redesign the jewelry they received when they were children or teens. The styles that suited you at the age of thirteen is unlikely to be the same as the style you prefer at the age of 31, but that does not mean that the gifts you received in your youth have to go unworn.

It is not uncommon at all for us to make custom jewelry for our San Francisco customers using the gifts they received for their confirmation, Bat Mitzvah, Sweet Sixteen, or high school graduation as the foundation. Many parents and grandparents who are shopping for younger people in their lives will purchase gifts with future repurposing in mind.

A pendant design such as our Stella diamond and rose gold star necklace, for example, does not have an age limit. However, should the recipient lose her fondness for the star design or grow to prefer a different metal, it can be repurposed into a new piece in the future that carries all the sentiment of the occasion but which is a better fit for their updated taste:

How Many New Pieces of Jewelry Can You Make?

While many people think of jewelry repurposing as a one for one trade off, this is often not the case. It is just as common to use the materials from one piece of old jewelry to create several new pieces. And in our decades as one of the most trusted family jewelers in San Francisco, we have just as frequently designed one new piece of jewelry from several old or broken pieces of unwanted jewelry.

The best way to answer the question “How many new pieces of jewelry can I create with my old jewelry” is to gather up all of your unworn or broken items and bring them in for a free consultation. We can appraise each piece and identify which materials are candidates for repurposing, which can be recycled, and help you get a sense for what is possible to recreate from them. The examples below will help you get a sense of what may be possible, as well.

When repurposing jewelry, there is no reason to create one new piece for each item you intend to repurpose. Often, a single piece can be upcycled into several new designs that create a coordinated jewelry suite, or into a series of different items for yourself or other members of your family.

A tennis bracelet such as the Cinque Terre from our designers at Carats & Stones, for example, contains 35 brilliant white diamonds totalling nearly 4 carats and offers a world of possibilities and can be used to create several different pieces for yourself or to be given as gifts to your loved ones, as seen in this example

What Pieces Can We Redesign?

At Carats & Stones, we're passionate about breathing new life into your cherished heirloom pieces. Whether it's a necklace passed down from generations or a vintage ring with sentimental value, we work closely with you to understand your vision and the emotional significance of your jewelry. With our expertise and commitment to craftsmanship, we can redesign a myriad of heirloom pieces, including but not limited to:


  • Pearls
  • Chains
  • Pendants
  • Vintage heirloom


  • Bangles
  • Charms
  • Pearl bracelets
  • Vintage treasures


  • Engagement rings
  • Wedding bands
  • Cocktail rings
  • Stacking rings
  • Vintage gems


  • Hoops / Huggies
  • Dangle earrings
  • Studs
  • Pearl earrings
  • Vintage beauties

We transform your old jewelry into stunning and meaningful new creations that reflect your style and story. Let us unleash the potential of your heirloom pieces and create timeless treasures that you'll cherish for years to come.

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Gemstone Revitalization

While a thorough cleaning will usually do the trick to bring some shine into an older gem, we at Carats & Stones go the extra mile. Our skilled artisans are able to re-cut and re-polish almost any stone, giving it a renewed brilliance and enhancing its beauty for a fresh look that dazzles.

Chain Adjustments

Is your favorite necklace chain a little too long or too short? Do you have a cherished bracelet with a broken clasp? Look no further. Our expert craftsmen specialize in chain adjustments, ensuring that your jewelry fits perfectly and is comfortable to wear. We can also repair or replace clasps as needed, restoring functionality and elegance to your beloved pieces.


If you have a broken clasp on your favorite necklace or a worn-out closure on your bracelet, we've got you covered. We can replace or repair clasps on any piece, ensuring that your jewelry stays safe and secure while adding a touch of style to your accessories.


Make your jewelry truly unique with our personalized design services. Whether you want to incorporate your partner's birthstone into a bracelet or add your initials to a signet ring, Carats & Stones is the destination for customization. We work closely with you to bring your vision to life, ensuring that the design is exactly how you envision it and creating a piece that holds special meaning for you or your loved one.