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Whether it’s a family heirloom that’s been buried in a jewelry box somewhere or your own engagement ring that didn’t quite change with the times, you’ve decided it’s time for an overhaul. Just because jewelry doesn’t update as quickly as we do, this doesn’t mean it loses its sentimental value. Whether or not you already have an idea in mind, here’s a few things to consider before making any decisions toward your jewelry makeover.
We must say, if you’ve chosen to refresh a family heirloom, make sure you have the approval to do so first. Explain that being able to incorporate pieces of the heirloom into something revitalized is a way of honoring the original and new wearer at the same time. The same thing applies to your in-need-of-a-refresh engagement ring. Your partner should know that it isn’t that you’ve lost affection for the ring and what it symbolizes; on the contrary, you want to extend the life of the piece by giving it a refresh.
When it comes to repurposing any piece of jewelry, it’s important that you not feel rushed. This is a highly personal decision, and you should land on something you want, not what someone else is waiting for. Do plenty of research and brainstorming before taking your ideas to the jeweler BUT make sure you go with an open mind. Consider bringing a design board with you as a point of reference and don’t be afraid to get creative. A good jeweler will ask you lots of question to help you settle on the final design and you may discover the final idea is nothing like what you originally wanted.
Ask yourself first what style you’re going for with your new piece. Is less traditional your vibe or a lot more fashion-forward what you’re looking for? Are you looking to simplify or add a little razzle-dazzle to your ring? Most jewelers will not use the metal from the original piece; have you considered which metal you prefer? Will you be wearing it alongside another band? Do you even want the ring to remain a ring or have you considered using the stones to create an entirely different piece?
Most jewelers will focus on utilizing the most valuable elements of your piece. As mentioned above, they will more than likely not use the old metal, and will not use anything with obvious chips, cracks, or abrasions. For a subtler upgrade to an old engagement ring, some jewelers will recommend adding a separate diamond or gemstone to the band, totally going for the “Toi et moi” look and, in essence, achieving the blend of “something old, something new”.
Don’t count anything out. You may have an old engagement ring and a necklace that you would have never thought of putting together. A good jeweler can take the larger, most precious stones from both and surprise you with how well they go together. It’s a beautiful way of incorporating pieces that mean something to you and creating something that appeals to you. It’s all about matching quality and scale.