What to Do With Out-of-Style Fine Jewelry?

Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry is collectible. But there’s always the chance that you could collect something that isn’t as “timeless” as it might first seem. Trends aren’t always noticed when they’re still trendy.

So, what do you do with your fine jewelry that’s fallen out of style?

There are a lot of options, actually. One of the great things about fine jewelry is how much you can actually do with it.

Let’s take a look.

Store it Away for Later

First, it’s important to note that “out of style” means a lot of things. Usually, styles are cyclical. Things come back. Your jewelry might not be in style now, but it may be next year. There are people collecting Victorian jewelry even today. If your fine jewelry is in good condition, it’s likely that it will come back into style… and that it will eventually become a collectible. It will almost certainly retain or even appreciate in value.

So, you can always just store it away and wait until the style has come around again.

Get it “Updated” By a Jeweler

Most jewelers can “update” outdated jewelry pretty fast. You can turn a piece into something that you really love just by getting it polished and getting stones replaced or reset. If your jewelry isn’t just outdated, but actually “old” (a little worn, beaten up, or even damaged), you might want to get it updated for modern trends. A jeweler will have advice for you regarding how you can best go about this while still retaining the general feel of the piece.

But, before you start changing that jewelry, do consider that it might have inherent value due to its age. Make sure you know everything about a piece’s history and provenance before you start swapping out stones!

This often happens with family engagement rings. For instance, your family may have had a modest engagement ring, but today there’s a tendency toward larger stones. You can pull out the existing stone and set a larger stone in. You could even use the existing stone somewhere else in the piece — such as by getting a matching stone and setting both smaller stones around the larger one.

Redesign the Piece Entirely

Let’s say you have jewelry that isn’t just out of style, it’s also old or damaged. Or the type of jewelry just doesn’t fit you. Maybe you have an antique hairpin, for instance, but short-cropped hair. What are you going to do with it?

A jeweler can also redesign a piece entirely. A ring can be turned into a pendant. A pendant can be turned into a broach. The critical parts of the piece can be retained, but you’ll be able to turn it into something that suits you, and something that you can actually use.

When redesigning the piece, the jeweler will usually ask you which elements you’re fond of and which you want to be retained. After all, if there’s nothing you like about the piece, why not just melt it down and start fresh? So, take some time to look at the piece and consider what you find really special about it.

Take an Element from the Jewelry

It could be that there’s really only one thing special about the jewelry. Let’s say that you’re looking at your grandmother’s engagement ring and it has an absolutely beautiful stone, but the ring itself has become damaged — it isn’t just out of style, it’s beyond what could be reclaimed. Or perhaps it’s a type of metal or design that can’t be easily resized, and grandma was an entirely different size from you!

The answer then is to take the stone and put it into something else. And it doesn’t have to be an engagement ring. You could take that stone and put it in a pendant, in a bracelet, or in another type of ring altogether. This lets you enjoy the stone and the meaning behind the jewelry without having to commit to something that’s damaged, outdated, or otherwise unsuitable.

Jewelers can get very creative about taking elements from other pieces of jewelry. They could even meltdown a piece entirely to form it into something else. Consider asking a jeweler for their professional opinion first.

Sell the Jewelry

Look: Maybe this jewelry just isn’t for you.

But it could be for someone else.

An “out of style” piece could still be beloved by someone who likes the fashion statements from yesteryear. So, if you really can’t ever see yourself using the piece, and it doesn’t have any sentimental value, you might be able to just sell it.

And that’s true even if it’s damaged.

One of the great things about fine jewelry is that it has inherent value. So, even the metal and stones it’s made out of has value. If your piece is damaged, you may be able to sell it to a gold buyer, or a jeweler may just want to buy the stones.

From there, you can purchase another jewelry piece that’s the right fit for you.

Give It to a Family Member

Fine jewelry is made to be inherited, isn’t it? It’s possible that you have a family member or a friend who would love your jewelry. Consider giving it to one of them.

If your jewelry has been in the family for a while or has sentimentality attached, you probably don’t want to update it or change it. That could change the meaning of the piece not only for you but for generations to come. Instead, consider giving it to someone in the family who might be more open to the style. They may even just hold it to pass it on to the next generation.

Style is a nebulous thing. Something may be “out of style” but still be your style. When you have fine jewelry that doesn’t really suit you, there are always options. But by the same token, don’t be afraid to wear something that’s a little “antique” — you might just be finding your own, unique sense of aesthetics.