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Repurposing Antique Jewelry

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
6,632
My heart breaks knowing people melt down exquisite and rare working old watches or pull them apart to harvest the gemstones.
If something is broken or worn out, sure, but not destruction just for the gold melt value.
I like to repurpose.
Ive done a few watches to bracelets and a few brooches to necklaces or bracelets.
6CB78E0C-3ADA-4E63-8426-971758A37DF7.jpeg D84D5E21-A7A3-4F54-AB2D-89A2509C2C72.jpeg 29739CFE-B47D-4A48-B4E1-0FFC3811B51A.jpeg CEF2E8E1-3D17-4BA3-A7A6-0EA66CC6CF09.jpeg 3F362ABB-A1C3-41C0-8661-5680D0F769D3.jpeg
 

88_star

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 1, 2022
Messages
217
@Bron357 those watch conversions are really nicely done!
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2020
Messages
3,011
I haven’t bought anything to repurpose, but my mom inherited a bunch of my grandma’s jewelry and if there’s something we can’t figure out a use for in it’s present form, it’s been repurposed! Sometimes the conversion is just tweaking the functionality of a piece (eg she had a mathapatti, which is a headpiece, we tweaked it into a necklace because it was too big and unwieldy to wear on the head) and sometimes it’s pulling it apart for it’s constituent bits (eg one of her brooches was harvested of its melee).
 

Lookinagain

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
4,731
full picture.jpg
wearing.JPG
I found this brooch for a great price and knew I wouldn't wear it so had a bangle made. I don't think I would have torn it apart. I don't have any problem pulling old pieces apart if there is nothing special about the setting. Or I just don't like the setting but the stones are nice.
 

CaseyLouLou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
1,257
full picture.jpg
wearing.JPG
I found this brooch for a great price and knew I wouldn't wear it so had a bangle made. I don't think I would have torn it apart. I don't have any problem pulling old pieces apart if there is nothing special about the setting. Or I just don't like the setting but the stones are nice.

Ooh! It’s hard to tell but did you bend it to contour your wrist and was that difficult? I love it. I have wondered if bar brooches could be bent like that.
 

Lookinagain

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2014
Messages
4,731
Ooh! It’s hard to tell but did you bend it to contour your wrist and was that difficult? I love it. I have wondered if bar brooches could be bent like that.

Well, I didn't do it, but yes, it was bent. Grace did it. I sent her photos first of it from all angles to see if she thought her bench could do and and she said that they could and they added the stems to make it a bangle. Here is a side view.
IMG_2951.JPG
 

clairebc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2022
Messages
88
@Bron357 @Lookinagain Thanks for posting pics of your conversion projects, really helps visualize different options!
 

stepcutnut

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,853
Sure! I have found that old cut melees can be quite expensive so I usually have a specific project in mind when I am looking for pieces to buy for the purpose of dismantling them. I have also found that smaller size old cut melees are harder to source (below 2.5mm) and that it’s actually easier to source bigger melee sizes. It’s even more difficult to find smaller melee in specific sizes or in graduating sizes. Unless the vendor for the melee and the designer are all in-house or one company, I think it’s just not worth it for most melee vendors to weed through to find such small melees in specific sizes to sell. For a couple of my projects, I specifically needed old cut melee in graduating sizes. So I looked for brooches that have such graduated melees.

Here is a pic of my graveyard of leftovers.
BF5D58C9-3198-4063-B8B2-F881F68326B7.jpeg

I used this brooch for most of the melees on this halo clip (a few of the melee needed to be bigger than the biggest ones on the brooch so Caysie had to source the bigger ones).
21D500A7-B001-4658-A119-D872BAFF2C38.jpeg
Here is a thread on the whole project.

The ring and the other brooch were used for setting for this stone. I haven’t done a thread on it yet.
541C2A49-624F-4C56-8A33-AD484763365F.jpeg

I do have a few ideas as to what I wanted to do with the leftovers as I am done with the 2 main projects for which I bought them. Mainly I want to use the 2 trefoils from the brooch to make it into a cross over ring kind of like this.
74D10368-B802-4362-9187-F530FB8B1C44.jpeg

However, I still have a project pending so I need to save some pennies before I finalize what I want to do and get them done lol. I also think it’s always nice to have some graduated melees on hand for possible future projects since they are hard to source.

Thank you for posting, I really love how you’ve repurposed these into more wearable items for yourself, they are lovely!
 

stepcutnut

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,853
My heart breaks knowing people melt down exquisite and rare working old watches or pull them apart to harvest the gemstones.
If something is broken or worn out, sure, but not destruction just for the gold melt value.
I like to repurpose.
Ive done a few watches to bracelets and a few brooches to necklaces or bracelets.
6CB78E0C-3ADA-4E63-8426-971758A37DF7.jpeg D84D5E21-A7A3-4F54-AB2D-89A2509C2C72.jpeg 29739CFE-B47D-4A48-B4E1-0FFC3811B51A.jpeg CEF2E8E1-3D17-4BA3-A7A6-0EA66CC6CF09.jpeg 3F362ABB-A1C3-41C0-8661-5680D0F769D3.jpeg
Beautiful pieces! I love your creativity in making these pieces wearable for you :)
 

stepcutnut

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,853
full picture.jpg
wearing.JPG
I found this brooch for a great price and knew I wouldn't wear it so had a bangle made. I don't think I would have torn it apart. I don't have any problem pulling old pieces apart if there is nothing special about the setting. Or I just don't like the setting but the stones are nice.
I love your brooch conversion-such a lovely piece!
 

CaseyLouLou

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
1,257
I just dismantled my OEC platinum brooch. I really didn’t like the style and I wanted to reuse the diamonds. It’s been sitting around for a couple of years and I didn’t have a plan for it so I didn’t bother taking it apart. It was fun to admire the diamonds in the light that way too.

Now I think I’m closer to finding a way to use the stones in some projects although not quite there yet. I figured that I needed to know the exact dimensions and carat weight for the 16 graduated stones.

It turns out that there are many perfectly matched pairs. There are 4x0.36ct, 4x0.25ct, 2x0.2ct, 2x0.16ct, 2x0.12ct and 2x0.08ct.

They looks smaller than in the brooch so I assume they will appear bigger again when set.

The larger ones will work well as side stones in a ring or as earrings. The tiniest ones as melee with some others that I purchased. The middle ones I’m thinking maybe a bracelet? Need to also figure out the finances for all of this.

0103DEF0-45B6-4EA7-8851-1762AA4CAD0F.jpeg 56803A4E-171F-4F91-9F30-071D47AC9565.jpeg
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
23,407
Sure! I have found that old cut melees can be quite expensive so I usually have a specific project in mind when I am looking for pieces to buy for the purpose of dismantling them. I have also found that smaller size old cut melees are harder to source (below 2.5mm) and that it’s actually easier to source bigger melee sizes. It’s even more difficult to find smaller melee in specific sizes or in graduating sizes. Unless the vendor for the melee and the designer are all in-house or one company, I think it’s just not worth it for most melee vendors to weed through to find such small melees in specific sizes to sell. For a couple of my projects, I specifically needed old cut melee in graduating sizes. So I looked for brooches that have such graduated melees.

Here is a pic of my graveyard of leftovers.
BF5D58C9-3198-4063-B8B2-F881F68326B7.jpeg

I used this brooch for most of the melees on this halo clip (a few of the melee needed to be bigger than the biggest ones on the brooch so Caysie had to source the bigger ones).
21D500A7-B001-4658-A119-D872BAFF2C38.jpeg
Here is a thread on the whole project.

The ring and the other brooch were used for setting for this stone. I haven’t done a thread on it yet.
541C2A49-624F-4C56-8A33-AD484763365F.jpeg

I do have a few ideas as to what I wanted to do with the leftovers as I am done with the 2 main projects for which I bought them. Mainly I want to use the 2 trefoils from the brooch to make it into a cross over ring kind of like this.
74D10368-B802-4362-9187-F530FB8B1C44.jpeg

However, I still have a project pending so I need to save some pennies before I finalize what I want to do and get them done lol. I also think it’s always nice to have some graduated melees on hand for possible future projects since they are hard to source.

i love the round one with the bow
i would want to buy some cheaper coloured stones and make it wearable again
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
23,407
I haven’t bought anything to repurpose, but my mom inherited a bunch of my grandma’s jewelry and if there’s something we can’t figure out a use for in it’s present form, it’s been repurposed! Sometimes the conversion is just tweaking the functionality of a piece (eg she had a mathapatti, which is a headpiece, we tweaked it into a necklace because it was too big and unwieldy to wear on the head) and sometimes it’s pulling it apart for it’s constituent bits (eg one of her brooches was harvested of its melee).

girl, we love that elaorate Indian jewerly
we need pictures and maybe a thread of its own when your mum is ready !
 
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