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How Can I Redesign Outdated Jewelry?

Your Options for Reworking Old Jewelry and Creating Custom Jewelry Pittsburgh

Lisa Marie Kotchey Jewelry
September 4, 2019

We all have a jewelry box packed with our favorite pieces in addition to some dated pieces we’ve acquired over the years. Relatives frequently hand down their favorite, most meaningful pieces of jewelry to younger generations in hopes that they’ll love and cherish the jewelry as much as they once. While this jewelry is meaningful, it’s not always in style or aligned with your tastes. So what do you do? Many people choose a jewelry redesign from a custom jeweler like Lisa Marie Kotchey Designs: a leader in custom jewelry Pittsburgh. Why should you choose to redesign outdated jewelry, and what does this process look like? We’re here to break it down for you.

Why Should I Redesign Outdated Heirloom Jewelry?

Reasons for Reworking Old Jewelry with the Leader in Custom Jewelry Pittsburgh

Lisa Kotchey Custom Jewlery Redesign

There are a variety of reasons people choose a jewelry redesign from Lisa Marie Kotchey Designs. Among the most common reasons to redesign heirloom jewelry are:

  • Outdated Design Redesign: It’s easy to see that things have changed since the 1980s (and thank goodness they have). Everything from the way jewelry is designed to the types of metal used is different and has changed over time. While antique jewelry does make comebacks, most heirloom jewelry is redesigned with timelessness in mind, leading most jewelry redesigns to take the form of a simple pendant, solitaire ring, or charm bracelet.
  • Damaged Jewelry Redesign: Sometimes jewelry redesign comes simply because jewelry has broken over the years. A missing diamond in an heirloom ring, a broken gold chain, or cracked gemstone can lead you to feel like the piece is unsalvageable, but jewelry redesign allows you to repair the piece, preserving the pieces that are intact and come up with solutions so that you can continue wearing the jewelry.
  • Jewelry Upgrades: Many people choose jewelry redesign simply because it’s time for an upgrade. Whether you want to better alloy for the chain, a diamond with more brilliance, or to upgrade your stones to something a little more valuable, you can find custom jewelry redesign in Pittsburgh that can add value to your favorite pieces while preserving the sentimental value that the piece holds.
  • Jewelry Repurposing: Another way people redesign jewelry is by choosing a different form altogether. Sometimes a wedding ring or engagement ring will be handed down through generations and use to propose for a new marriage, but other times it will be reworked into a necklace, pair of earrings, or a bracelet.

At the core of almost all jewelry redesign, however, is the desire to preserve the sentimental value that each piece of jewelry carries. This creates a fine line to walk in preserving this sentimental value and redesigning to be something you’ll be able to wear for years to come. Lisa Marie Kotchey - a leader in custom Jewelry Pittsburgh - works with you when redesigning your heirloom jewelry to find the delicate balance of preserving the sentimentality and beauty of the existing piece. 

What is the Custom Heirloom Jewelry Process Like?

The Steps a Jeweler Takes When Creating Custom Jewelry Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Custom Jewlery

It’s clear that custom jewelers have their work cut out for them when tackling an heirloom jewelry redesign. However, the same basic process takes place each time a piece of custom jewelry is made from an heirloom piece, and it looks a little like this:

Plan a design

Your custom heirloom jewelry redesign, like all good things, begins with a plan. Lisa Marie Kotchey will work with you to dream up the perfect piece of jewelry for you. She’ll help you verbalize your vision for your piece, get it down on paper, and envision what your piece will look like at the end. Whether your piece will change from a ring to a necklace, rework a necklace into a pair of earrings, or put a timeless twist on an existing piece, Lisa Kotchey will help you create the custom piece you love.

Clean the Old Jewelry

Before getting started, it’s important to make sure your jewelry is clean. This helps ensure the purity of your metal and allows for a proper valuation if you have any extra metal leftover (or need to add more metal for the design). This is always a fun step because it gives an old piece new life that it may not have had before.

Disassemble the Old Jewelry

Once clean, it’s time to begin disassembling the jewelry. This will almost always entail removing the gemstones from the mounting, and will often include melting down the metal so it can take a new form. 

Rework the Metal

Next, it’s time to rework the metal. Recreating the metal into a new chain or band is common, but sometimes people decide to swap out for a different alloy or color altogether for a more modern look.

Switch or Recut the Gemstones

Next, your custom jeweler will switch out and recut the gemstones. Some people look for a chance to re-establish the brilliance or modernize the cut when reworking heirloom jewelry, which Lisa Kotchey works with you to decide in the design process. Additionally, sometimes people will add additional gemstones to complement the heirloom stones or upgrade the stone in general, making for a more valuable, beautiful piece of jewelry.

Reassemble the New Piece

Once everything is ready, it’s time to assemble the reworked heirloom jewelry. Once the stones are mounted, and everything is properly sized, you’ll have an unbelievably beautiful and meaningful piece of jewelry that you’ll cherish for years to come.

Ready to redesign a piece of heirloom jewelry that means a lot to you? Get in touch with Lisa Marie Kotchey Designs - a leader in custom jewelry Pittsburgh - to learn how we can create stunning jewelry redesigns for you.