The Jewelry Box Blog

Recycled Jewelry: A Tale of Two Earrings

on Apr 26, 2016 4:19 PM

Customizing your own unique piece of jewelry sounds expensive, right?

It can be if you're starting from scratch. But if you use a couple pieces you already own but don't really wear, it can be inexpensive (and fun) to combine those into something totally new.

One of our own had a great experience creating a unique piece out of recycled jewelry.

Read first-hand how Kelsey took two existing pieces of jewelry and combined them to create the pendant of her dreams:

It all started with two single earrings, an emerald stud and a multi-diamond huggie. While they would have been beautiful as their original pairs, I knew the gemstones within needed a new purpose. Rather than letting them collect dust in my jewelry box, I decided to give them a chance to shine as a new piece.   

Recycled Jewelry

Kelsey's original emerald stud and multi-diamond huggie

I wanted to create a pendant with the emerald in the center, surrounded by a halo made from the extra diamonds, but I had never designed or recycled a piece of jewelry before. I asked friends and coworkers about their experiences and they all raved about a particular jeweler. I knew I had found the partner I needed.

I searched the internet for emerald pendants with diamond halo settings and brought the examples to the recommended jeweler.

Diamond Pendant Recycled Jewelry

Photo credit: Artfire

Emerald Pendant Recycled Jewelry

Photo credit: Gemvara

Diamond Pendant 2 Recycled Jewelry

Photo credit: Adiamor

The three examples Kelsey brought to the jeweler

From merely describing what I was looking for, the jeweler went straight to a wholesale catalog to pick out a setting. Due to the size of the diamonds, I was limited to one pre-made setting. However, the design perfectly fit the bill and I was elated to get my personal favorite, white gold.

To offset the cost of the new setting, I was able to sell the gold bases from the original earrings and the diamonds that weren't used. I could have customized a setting to use all the diamonds, but that would have greatly increased the price and I wasn't feeling that adventurous.

I filled out a little paperwork, my earrings were measured and documented, and I was on my way. The jeweler estimated two weeks for my setting to come in and work to begin on my piece.  

A little over a week later, I received a call that my pendant was complete. I couldn’t wait to pick it up after work!

Finished Recycled Jewelry Pendant

Kelsey's finished pendant

The final piece turned out exactly how I was hoping and I’ve already worn it several times. Creating something new out of something old made this pendant very special to me. I’m sure my future children and grandchildren will be thrilled to inherit this piece of heirloom jewelry.

If you have pieces gathering dust in your jewelry box, visit your jeweler and explore your options for re-imagining them into a work of jewelry art. There are a couple online resources that specialize in redesigning jewelry, too, like Gemvara and The Perfect Setting.

Whichever way you go, we'd love to see the finished product! Share it with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.


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