One of the things I’ve been wanting to do for myself is splurge on a little diamond band. I admire all of my friends’ gorgeous jewelry that they’ve gotten for engagements, marriages and big life moments. While I am single and have yet to have someone buy me a fabulous engagement ring, I kind of still want something for myself. Like, now. I did a little bit of browsing at a local jewelry store and started to figure out what I wanted. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I have a few diamond pieces from an ex-boyfriend in my jewelry box. Just collecting dust. Could I do something with those??
I had a pair of bezel-set earrings that were beautiful but I just never really wear them. I’m more of a gold hoop or nothing kind of gal. And I also had a three-stone necklace in white gold. While I kind of liked it when I got it, it was never really something I ever wore (sorry not sorry). It happens. I’m sure we all have some pieces in our jewelry box that are collecting dust and not getting any wear. Whether they’re family pieces, gifts from ex-boyfriends, and anything in-between, I’ve got a solution to turn these into something you’ll love to wear. And I’m here to shout it from the rooftops because I felt like there was ZERO information on this when I started out on my quest. Let’s get into it.
What To Do With Old Diamonds
While staring at my old diamond jewelry in my jewelry box, I was wondering if there was anything I could do with it. Maybe pawn it to put that money towards the ring I was eyeing. Or sell it on eBay (seems risky). Who knows, I just didn’t want it anymore. I Googled and found really no helpful information that sounded like it was worth it to me. Plus, selling diamonds doesn’t really provide a great return on your investment. You just don’t get much for them which sort of sucks.
So instead, I reached out to my trusted diamond friend, Kate the Diamond Concierge. I worked with her a few years ago with her Diamond Concierge service in NYC and got these incredible emerald diamond earrings that are a nod to my grandmother’s beautiful ring. I messaged her asking what I could do with my old jewelry and she had just the solution. Her Upcycle Experience is exactly what I needed. This was a new service she just started to offer and the timing was perfect! I loved the diamonds themselves but hated the way they were set. So we set out to repurpose the jewelry and create a new design I would love.
Kate The Diamond Concierge Upcycle
This service is a great way to transform your jewelry and change it into something you really love. The process is super fun too. We started off with the consult where I share details of my current jewelry (as much information as you have is ideal but not entirely necessary). Then I shared some ideas of what I was thinking of turning it into. I ended up sending her the earrings, the necklace, and an old antique-inspired ring that I also got as a gift and hated. These three pieces would soon get transformed into a stunning necklace and two beautiful stackable rings.
Once she has your inspiration, she sends over mock-ups of your new jewelry. You can then provide some feedback, ask to change it from yellow gold to white to see the difference, and so on. She pretty much nailed it on the first go. And I appreciated her expertise in designing jewelry too.
I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with the necklace and earrings. They just so happened to be the perfect sizes for a graduated bar necklace. But the weird Simon G ring that I despised, I had no clue what to do with it. It had about twenty-something tiny little diamonds of all different sizes in it and Kate came up with a great solution to make them look their absolute best together. This is also why I loved working with her. She has so much jewelry experience that she helped dream up some beautiful pieces for me that I just couldn’t envision myself.
Once you confirm your designs, her team gets to creating them.
I sent her all my jewelry – insured and overnight, I was nervous but it all arrived safely! Kate and her team keep you updated along the way so there’s nothing to be worried about. And then she takes everything apart and puts your old diamonds into brand new custom jewelry. Once your jewelry is finished being made, she sends it back to you along with a beautiful travel jewelry case and diamond cleaner pen. And voila, you have brand new custom diamond jewelry that you love! And at a fraction of the price of having to buy it brand new at a jewelry store.
A few ideas on what you can do with your old diamonds…
Resetting A Ring
Do you have an old engagement ring, or wedding band or any ring really that you dislike or don’t love anymore? It can become something brand new when you reset it into a new design. This is especially fun if you got a very trendy engagement ring and no longer love it. Or maybe you were very into rose gold or white gold, and now only wear yellow gold. Give your jewelry a refresh with the Upcycle Experience! You can have it reset into something new. Plus, if you need to add any additional diamonds to the jewelry, Kate The Diamond Concierge can also help with that as she sources the best diamonds that will work with your current stones.
Take Several Old Pieces To Make Something New
Whether it’s old pieces you don’t love, jewelry that’s missing diamonds, or even loose diamonds, these can all be transformed into something new. Make it into a few different rings, a new necklace, earrings or a bracelet. The ideas are truly endless.
My Before & After Upcycle Experience
Below is a look at my before and after. I really can’t even believe the transformation myself. The necklace itself is such a stunner. I love it so much and can’t believe we breathed new life into those two white gold pieces that were truly collecting dust. Now I never take it off. Ever. Don’t tell Kate, she recommends removing jewelry at night and to shower but I like to live life on the edge. And can you believe that antique ring became two cool modern rings? I stack them now with a few other tiny gold bands that I’ve been collecting over the years. I love that I can wear them together, separately, or with all my rings!
Common Questions For Doing An Upcycle
Do I need to have my jewelry appraised beforehand?
Not necessarily. It’s helpful to have some information about your diamonds especially if you’re combining separate pieces into one. For example, my earrings and necklace were turned into one necklace with all the diamonds right next to each other. This may not have looked as great if the diamonds were different clarities or colors. I knew they were the same so this wasn’t an issue for me. Kate can definitely assist in making suggestions based on what you have once she sees them in person! Plus, if you need to add any stones, she can match them as best as possible to ensure a beautiful piece of jewelry.
How much does it cost?
The jewelry itself will vary in price depending on what you choose. But I found the pricing to be quite reasonable on what I was creating. My rings were roughly $500-$750 each to give you an idea. Obviously, pricing will vary! Since you aren’t paying for the diamonds, you’re just paying for the custom jewelry making and the gold that’s used. The price to do the Upcycle consult itself is $97. You can waive this fee with my code JESSICA97. This fee gets you started with your Upcycle but Kate has been so kind to provide a discount!
I don’t have diamonds, but have some other stones, can she work with that?
Yup! Kate is an expert gemologist and can work with other precious stones as well. And if you want to add any diamonds to your design, she can assist with that too and source the best diamonds or gems for your budget and goals. She does this for both the Upcycle Experience and her Digital Diamond Concierge service.
I’m nervous to mail my jewelry!!
I was too. But don’t be. It’s insured and expedited. Kate will walk you through everything and send you the proper label to use and info on how to pack your items. The communication with her and her team is exceptional! After shipping them out to her, all fears were gone. I now have no problem receiving diamonds in the mail. It’s quite frankly the best kind of mail to get!
This is your reminder to raid your jewelry box, maybe ask your family if there are any old heirlooms lying around collecting dust, so you can turn it into something amazing. While it’s nice to have pieces from family, it’s okay to realize that trends and styles have changed. And instead of letting beautiful stones collect dust, why not transform it into a piece you’ll love and cherish forever. It’s the best way to honor family pieces or take control of an ex’s old jewelry and make it something YOU love. Instead of something THEY wanted to buy you.
PS all the gold jewelry I’m always wearing here.
Photo by Hannah Lozano