Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Taking apart vintage pieces for repurposing

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
151
I decided to start a thread to find out what the general consensus is on dismantling old vintage and antique pieces in order to use the stones for something else.

In particular I’m thinking about antique brooches, some of which are gorgeous but I will never wear one, even on a jacket because it’s so warm here in CA. But there are some really nice ones with old diamonds and other gemstones and although it seems wrong to destroy them, it also could be cost effective.

What do y’all think?
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
5,112
Personally, I would rather repurpose a piece that I am unlikely to wear into something that is more to my style and liking.

However, I am childless/free by choice, and have no one to pass on family heirlooms that may have huge sentimental value attached to them.

Would I buy a piece of antique with the intention to break up and repurpose the stones? Highly unlikely as I don't really do secondhand anything (except for my house and pets, and what my parents bought for or gave me).

DK :))
 

CHRISTY-DANIELLE

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
1,258
100% support the idea. I recently had my eye on one, thinking of making it into a pendant.
For me, I guess it would also depend on the piece. Some are too beautiful to dismantle, but some, meh, might as well reuse the stones for something else.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
3,863
I think brooches are lovely repurposed into either a pendant or a bracelet.
There’s nothing wrong with using older gemstones in new pieces, especially of the setting is too worn, but some older pieces are such exquisite workmanship it seems a shame to melt them down. 0E1BA982-7898-459F-A235-8D4609C5094A.jpeg
This is a repurposed brooch and watch bracelet.
 

Niffler75

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
192
@CaseyLouLou I agree with you and others.

I have my eye on a few beautiful mid century brooches that would make awesome pendants. I don't see the point in something languishing in a jewellery box unused when it can be repurposed, worn and enjoyed! ;)2
 

Rfisher

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
1,846
@CaseyLouLou I’ll answer you here :)

I admire the converted (or convertible!) pieces, also do admire the folk who currently wear the brooches.
I bought this brooch specifically for utilizing just the diamonds. B51FB62C-60EF-4FA6-92E5-5A7CCA67787E.jpeg
Because they were true antique, lovely stones in great condition, and was under 2k for 10 stones @ 2.09cttw.
Cheaper than I could get thru jeweler.
Would I dismantle a brooch with provenance?
Or one that left me with many stones languishing or was really intricate beautiful craftsmanship that didn’t need extensive repair?
I’d like to think no.
 

PreRaphaelite

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Messages
1,687
I am as sentimental as they come, but I think you should feel free to pull stones as you see fit. But then, I’m biased.

I look for old empty settings every single day. My growing stash of old diamonds doesn’t look right in new settings (maybe other people’s do though, no judgement here). At the moment I’ve just bought another stone and finding settings impossible to find at a reasonable price! So you may find as you proceed that the old setting that becomes empty will make you a good amount of money toward lowering your overall cost. Enjoy it! I hope you find treasure!
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,748
I have done it in the past. Depending on the quality of the piece I feel a little bad. I have one piece currently I wear as is but bought to take apart. But the workmanship is so good I haven’t been able to destroy.
I think it’s case by case. And I also thing even if the original piece is perfection If you feel you’d get more use in destroying it then do it up
 

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
151
@CaseyLouLou I’ll answer you here :)

I admire the converted (or convertible!) pieces, also do admire the folk who currently wear the brooches.
I bought this brooch specifically for utilizing just the diamonds. B51FB62C-60EF-4FA6-92E5-5A7CCA67787E.jpeg
Because they were true antique, lovely stones in great condition, and was under 2k for 10 stones @ 2.09cttw.
Cheaper than I could get thru jeweler.
Would I dismantle a brooch with provenance?
Or one that left me with many stones languishing or was really intricate beautiful craftsmanship that didn’t need extensive repair?
I’d like to think no.
What are you making?!
 

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
151
I have done it in the past. Depending on the quality of the piece I feel a little bad. I have one piece currently I wear as is but bought to take apart. But the workmanship is so good I haven’t been able to destroy.
I think it’s case by case. And I also thing even if the original piece is perfection If you feel you’d get more use in destroying it then do it up
Can you post a photo of your piece?
 

JPie

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 12, 2018
Messages
2,506
It's been done since the Victorian times, and likely well before that. I think the finest examples will continue to survive the test of time, and I don't see the harm in up-cycling.
 

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
151
It's been done since the Victorian times, and likely well before that. I think the finest examples will continue to survive the test of time, and I don't see the harm in up-cycling.
True. The royal family takes stones from old jewelry to make new things for their loved ones so I don’t see why we shouldn’t feel entitled to doing it!
 

Sibsgirl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
25
I tend not to take pieces apart unless the mount is just worn out and can't really be rehabbed. Even when I do, I have remorse. I have spent years feeling badly about one old Art Deco piece that I stole the diamond from for a modern mounting even though the ring was just DONE. Niel, I love your ring! There's no way I could tear it up either.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
29,736
Yanno, I used to be a purist about things like this but now my philosophy is do what you need to in order to bring joy into your life. And what use is an antique piece if it is sitting around unworn and unloved? if taking apart antique pieces to repurpose it into something you will adore and wear and love then I say go for it.

Case in point: @Niel 's freaking amazing ring above. ♥
 

CaseyLouLou

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
151
The one I don’t want to destroy?
happily
04BF3980-05F8-4441-9FEB-1BB034D787E6.jpeg
That ring has serious character. I do think if I take something apart it will be something less interesting. I just don't want to end up spending a ton of money with the intention of taking out the stones and then be stuck with a piece that will just sit around.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,748
Nice! Did you buy the watch for that purpose?
Yes and no. I bought the watch for the marquise - I didn’t know what i was going to do with them- but they were a steal and I’m a sucker for an antique fancy.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
2,553
I would never take apart my grandma's or my great aunt's ERs because its a personal thing
How ever my great grandma's wedding ring i blinged up otheriwise it was going to spend another generation in the bottom of another descendant's jewlery box

im all for repurposing
Wear it don't wearhouse it as Calla Gold says
I love the idea of brooches into hair pieces
i am also a sentimental old (not that old) fool but if someone else's family don't care and have sold it on go for it
If its good enough for the grandest magpie of them all Queen Mary, to dismantle beautiful things to reuse and ramake and create new treasures then far be it for me to be judgemental
But just be sure to have a good eye for it that the new peace turns out as least as succesful as the old piece 2f78e9ddb10c9caa51816597001455bc--royal-crowns-royal-jewels.jpg
 

LorettaB

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2017
Messages
255
I have some pieces of jewelry I won't even think about rehabbing. On others, I look at them and think, "What else could this be?" These are some pieces I have had redone recently. I have also taken diamonds from other settings and put them into new ones. The middle pendant was once a pin like the other two. It's beautful and I get a lot of compliments on it. As for the two that remain brooches, they'll likely end up one day as something else, when the time (and idea) is right. IMG_4341.jpg IMG_4339.jpg IMG_4340.jpg
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top