Rework old jewellery to make stylish pieces for less

Old bling? New ring!

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From the September/October 2014 issue of the magazine.

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Thinking of buying a new piece of fine jewellery but balking at the cost? Consider restyling a once-loved older piece, like a gold necklace or vintage brooch, sitting neglected in your jewellery box right now. You’ll get a new piece of jewellery and save money, too. That’s because you’re providing the expensive raw material, such as gems and precious metals, and only paying for the labour. “It has value but is sitting in a drawer unworn just because you don’t like the style anymore,” says Brittany Hopkins, owner of Anice Jewellery in Toronto. “Revamp it.”

Anything in gold, silver or platinum is worth reworking. Cheaper costume jewellery isn’t. Or, look for workshops in your area and remodel your gems yourself. Grandma’s 10 karat gold wedding ring will cost you $1,500 and up to buy new. Reworking it costs just $200. Your mother’s $170 pearl necklace? Reshape it into a bracelet for only $30.

Item New creation (s) Reworking Cost Cost of buying a similar item new*
Your grandmother’s 10K gold wedding ring Ring with new setting and stone $150 – 200 $1,500+
The broken 14k gold chain Drop earrings and bracelet $30- 40Simple repair: 30, add charm: 5- 50 $250
The lobe-punishing earrings Long chain necklace with cluster of charms or pendants $30 – $100 $200
The lone diamond earring Turn into pendant on short chain or add cluster of charms $40 – 80 $380
The five too-tiny gold bangles Fuse together into one larger cuff $250 $450
The old-fashioned watch that no longer ticks Turn into pendant on necklace $90 $495
Your mother’s pearls Pearl charm bracelet $30 $170

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