How To Make New Rings
Out Of Old Jewellery

Have you received a family heirloom that is gathering dust because it’s not to your taste, but it has sentimental value?

Well, the good news is that repurposing jewellery can be done using existing stones. If your jewellery piece has diamonds or gemstones that are fine to be reset, then these can be safely extracted and put in a new design, such as an engagement ring for your partner.

This guide will explain everything there is to know about turning old into something new.

What We'll Cover

Why Repurposing Jewellery Is Sustainable

Keeping The Sentimental Value

How Diamonds Are Removed

Jewellery Types That Can Be Repurposed

Why Repurposing Jewellery Is Sustainable

Jewellery isn’t sustainable in the same way that crops can be replanted.

Diamonds and gemstones have taken millions of years to be produced so repurposing your jewellery means one less stone is being mined from the ground. You are recycling materials and conserving the earth’s resources by recycling unwanted jewellery into something that you’ll value and wear for a long time to come.

Not only is it more sustainable for the planet to repurpose jewellery but it’s also better for your hip pocket. Selling used jewellery isn’t easy and you’ll probably settle for something much less than what it’s worth.

It’s better to take the stones out of the existing jewellery and put them into a nice ring.

Recycled Jewellery

Source: Euronews

Keeping The Sentimental Value

There are many ways you can repurpose jewellery to keep the sentimental value.

For example, if you and your partner both have old jewellery that you’d like to repurpose, you can use jewellery from both sides of the family to create a new piece by melting down the gold and removing the stones to create a unique engagement ring that celebrates both families.

Below are two ideas:

1. Turn a halo necklace into a halo engagement ring

Perhaps you’re more of a ring wearer than a necklace wearer. You can turn your grandmother’s necklace into a beautiful halo engagement ring. That way you can keep the same style as the original piece but repurpose it into an engagement ring that will have special meaning to you.

2. Change the metal

Perhaps you own an old engagement ring but you don’t like the metal. You can keep the stones and change the ring band. A colourless diamond set in platinum or white gold will make the diamond appear whiter in colour and give the ring a more modern look.

Ethical Jewellery Australia

Source: Ethical Jewellery Australia

How Diamonds Are Removed

Before old jewellery is redesigned into something new, a jeweller will inspect your heirloom to make sure that it is suitable to be reset.

They will also check to see if there is any damage to the stone before trying to remove it. Once it’s been deemed strong enough, the jeweller can remove the diamond using small pliers.

It’s important to note this can be a time-consuming process depending on how the diamond was originally set. The jeweller will provide you with sketch designs to show you what your dream piece will look like.

Jewellery Types That Can Be Repurposed

Almost any type of jewellery can be repurposed including necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, etc but the type of stone can affect whether a piece of jewellery can be repurposed or not.

Hardier stones are easier to repurpose because they are more likely to withstand the remodelling process without getting damaged.

More durable stones include diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Less sturdy stones include moonstone and turquoise which have a much higher chance of cracking or being scratched.

In closing, this guide has hopefully convinced you that turning your old family heirloom into a modern-day engagement ring is a much better idea than keeping it in a drawer or selling it.

If you’re unsure if your jewellery is able to be repurposed, speak to an expert at your local jewellery store to find out what your options are.


We hope you liked this informative guide on how to make the most of the jewellery you already own... because just like with fashion, the most sustainable jewellery (garment) is the one you already have!

Be sure to check out our full range of ethical accessories, which include:
Vegan watches
Ethical earrings
 Sustainable Bracelets 

And if you love shopping sustainable fashion made from repurposed materials, then you'll love of our range of recycled swimwear and recycled activewear. A variety of our brands use REPREVE and ECONYL to create the most stylish and sustainable activewear and swimwear!

About The Author

Chris Holdsworth is a member of the Gemmological Association of Australia and the National Council of Jewellery Valuers and has diplomas in Gemmology and Diamond Technology. His family started Holdsworth Bros. Jewellers in 1884 and Chris now runs the business with his brother Tim.