I often get confronted with a little hoard like this these days.
Things change. Fashions change. We grow up. What we were delighted to wear 20 years ago is no longer such a thrill.
Many women have a little draw of things like this; pieces that were not worth a great deal when the gold price was low but now have a much higher intrinsic value.
You can sell your old jewellery as scrap but, frankly, many of those queuing up to buy it from you will give you much less than it’s actually worth. It still feels great to come away with a hand full of twenties but the scrap merchant may well end up with a bigger handful.
I work a lot, these days, with clients who would rather turn their treasure into something that they’d be delighted to wear again. This is, perhaps, a return to the practices of yesteryear:
‘Darling, do you think we should reset Mama’s rubies into a tiara for Cecilia’s coming out ball?’
You get the idea.
There are three benefits from recycling your jewellery.
Save the planet; save the children.
You may have read some of my blogs concerning child labour and exploitation in the gold mining industry.
It is concerning.
The more we can recycle rather than buying new gold, the less demand there is and the less damage is done to the environment and the lives of the poor.
Save what’s precious to you.
For most of us, although the gold in our jewellery is precious, what’s really precious is the fact that someone we love owned it or gave it to us.
By recycling such jewellery, you preserve the sentimental value of the original piece. Turning into something you actually like means that you will wear it much more and will carry that meaning with you.
Save your money.
Gold prices have been soaring for ten years now and they show no signs of returning to the levels that they were at before the financial shenanigans of the previous decade. Reusing what you have will markedly reduce the cost of having a new piece made.
If you visit my Instagram page, you’ll see many of my commissions that have been made from old jewellery. I’ve made pendants centred around single earrings when one of the originals have been lost. I’ve made signet rings into cufflinks and necklaces into bangles. Often I have a client who wants to incorporate a parent’s or grandparent’s wedding ring into their own and the video below shows just this process.
Go through your drawers (and your mother’s drawers) and find all those single earrings or 1980’s bangles that you’ll never wear again and have a think about what you’d like to turn them into. You’re welcome to come and see me with your hoard but, if you’re not local, we can do the whole thing by post and email so get rummaging!