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Recycling & Repurposing Jewelry: What is it? Pros & Cons.

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Recycling and repurposing old jewelry is the process of unsetting gemstones from old jewelry and reusing the materials to create new jewelry. This is often done to repurpose jewelry for sentimental reasons or even repurposing engagement rings after a divorce Today we will be breaking down all the pros and cons on repurposing jewelry and explaining everything you need to know before this venture.

If you are interested in repurposing your old jewelry, send us an email at info@fineandflux.com with any queries or requests! Fine+Flux offers custom jewelry services as well as 0% interest payment plans on all products and services over 1K (before taxes).

Repurposed JewelryRecycled gems

Pros:

  • Repurposing jewelry is a fun way of reusing old jewelry instead of letting them collect dust in the back of a drawer.
  • It’s always great to get passed down heirloom jewelry, but it’s never great when said jewelry is desperately out of style. recycling it is the perfect way to keep its sentimental value while also creating a beautiful timely piece.
  • Repurposing jewelry is environmentally conscious as it does not contribute to the mining of new gems. Many people look for their engagement ring stone at vintage jewelry stores. Once they find the perfect stone, they repurpose the piece of jewelry they bought into an engagement ring! Although this can be tedious, it can also be fun if you enjoy the hunt!
  • Reusing old diamonds (not gold) can help reduce the cost of a new jewel by reducing the amount of new gemstones to be purchased.
Repurposed GoldRecycled Gold Jewelry

 

Cons:

Repurposing jewelry is not as cost efficient as you may think. Although you save money on the gold you are repurposing, you are spending more money on the intensive labor that goes into recycling gold, unsetting the gemstones and stripping the jewelry of solder.

  • Normally, gold jewelry is cast in batches of 20-30-50 pieces at a time. When using old gold however, because we are not sure of the quality of the gold mixture (not all gold has the same alloys), it cannot be mixed in with the rest of the 30 pieces. This means that the labor cost which would usually be split into 30 pieces is now going into 1, increasing the cost of production significantly.
  •  Additionally, the process of stripping solder (a low melting alloy used to attach gold together. Think of it as glue for gold) from gold is extremely time consuming, and therefore, will be more costly.
  • If your gemstones are 15-50 years old, it increases the likely hood that they are broken, chipped or have their facets worn down. This is caused by the wear and tear of everyday life. In our experience, 1 out of every 20 stones are broken and are being held together by the prongs. Once these prongs are un-sett the stone can crumble. The older the ring is the higher the ratio increases. Therefore, we recommend that you do have money set aside in case this happens. 
  • The diamonds we see being sold today (diamonds having been cut within the last 15 years) are of the highest standard of cut and are often cut as brilliant cuts, which give off the highest refraction and thus sparkle. This is why when using diamonds from heirloom jewels, they will most likely have less brilliance due to them being step-cuts or having lower qualities of cuts all together. This is why for important pieces such as engagement rings where you absolutely want to see that sparkle, we recommend using new stones and keeping your heirloom diamonds for another project.

So What Should You Do With Your Old Gold?

Unless you are repurposing the gold for sentimental reasons, we recommend that you stick to exchanging the gold for new gold and reusing the diamonds and gemstones.

In exchanging old gold for new, you will only loose a few dollars off of every gram but more importantly you can be assured that the new gold we will use will be of a much higher quality and will not come out of casting with an abrasive surface or crack due to the use of poor quality alloys. We've seen this more often than not when casting old gold and clients will end up paying more in labor fees to correct the superficial imperfections it causes.

If you still have any questions regarding repurposing old jewelry, contact us at info@fineandflux.com! We also offer custom and repurposing jewelry services. If that is something you are interested in, please do not hesitate to reach out!

 



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