Luxury fashion brands are embracing resale in the name of circularity and sustainability. Online resale sites like The Real Real or Poshmark offer resale of gently used and sometimes unworn new clothing, shoes, and handbags. Yes, they list branded, especially the luxury brand name jewelry for resale too. But what if you have jewelry that doesn’t bear a Bulgary, Cartier, or Tiffany label, can you appease your interest in sustainability and recycle your unused or broken jewelry?
Broken and outdated jewelry is taking center stage in the jewelry industry’s efforts to recycle. Certainly, nothing new, repairs and refining have been around as long as jewelry has, but how much jewelry still languishes in a drawer or jewelry box for years? I would venture to say the majority.
Jewelers have been plagued with consumer mistrust when it comes to repairs. Rumors of gemstones being switched for lesser quality replacements, fear of damage to the original piece, or just consumer skepticism that comes from lack of knowledge prevents many consumers from seeking options for repairing their jewelry and getting it back in wearable order.
So how does a small jeweler like myself overcome those concerns? Offering repairs in a few hours to a few days, depending on the complexity, seems to go a long way toward alleviating the concerns. Knowing your cherished piece will be back in your hands quickly is reassuring. Aligning the needed repair with the proper jeweler skill sets is fundamental to clean, correct, and cost-effective repairs. A simple ring resizing usually takes a lower skill level than a complex reconstruction of an heirloom piece. Knowing how to manage resources is central to offering a successful repair service.
The big question to ask yourself about the unworn or broken jewelry you own is,” Will I wear it?”. If the answer is probably not, you have a couple of options.
Precious metal refining smelts the metals and puts them back into the manufacturing cycle to be made into new jewelry. Refining your jewelry can generate a cash value or recycle your metals into a new piece you would like to have made. A win either way.
Gemstones can likewise be sold or used in new jewelry. Diamonds of a carat or larger are more readily salable than other precious gemstones like emeralds, rubies, or sapphires. I advise your best value is to reuse the gemstones in another piece but consider each case individually.
So what is the process for making something new from your current, unworn jewelry?
The first step is to gather up the jewelry. I don’t know how many times I am midway through consultation when a customer remembers other jewelry that could be incorporated into the project. Broken chains or an orphaned earring can always be utilized. Just because a piece is a bracelet now doesn’t.t mean it needs to be a bracelet in a future rejewel. We can imagine anything you would like.
Schedule the consultation. Part evaluation, part design session, a consultation will define the project at hand. It’s nice to come up with ideas in mind, but more important to work with a true jewelry designer. Not all jewelers are designers. Someone with sensitivity to the aesthetic aspects of the project is central to a successful final design.
Do you need to meet in person? No. I can accomplish a design consultation by video, phone, email, or text. Just as you would with any communication.
The beautiful jewelry that results from the rejewel process makes it hands down cooler than resale. Do you have a project you would like to consider? Get in touch.