jewelry boxWith the approach of colder weather here in the Northeast, many people will “dust off” some of the jewelry that has been set aside for the summer. Autumn signals change, and when nature shifts, everything seems to shift with it. Jewelry that has been unused during the warmer months is frequently reactivated — but what of the things that have  gone unused, and are now out of favor, or out of style? Perhaps a piece isn’t as bright as your memory of it was, or a ring that was a favorite last year no longer fits correctly?

It’s really a shame to let fine jewelry languish in a box, unworn and unseen — but with a very small degree of effort, this situation can generally be corrected with relative ease. A good deal of the time, a simple cleaning can make jewelry sparkle again, and many jewelry stores offer cleaning and inspection as a free service. If something has become dull and worn-looking from use, most items can actually be refinished, and made to look like new for a very modest cost. Rings that no longer fit right can (almost) always be resized, and earring clasps or bracelet/necklace catches that no longer function correctly can usually be adjusted — but what if the problem goes beyond that?

Joe Brandt

Perhaps a piece has simply fallen out of favor, or is no longer in style? Most fine jewelry can be re-purposed in one way or another; either altered somewhat, or changed completely. Diamonds (and many colored stones, as well as pearls) can be reused, and put into new pieces, changing a look completely, or even changing a basic use. In some cases, bracelets can become rings (or vice-versa), or single earrings can become pendants, and necklaces can become bracelets.  Stones can always be re-mounted for a fresh look, and even a demure single strand of pearls (that may have worked well with more formal looks of years past) may be modernized by the addition of colored stone beads or accents.

Can’t visualize anything? Your local jeweler can be a wonderful resource for ideas, but nothing will happen if you don’t take the initiative. Don’t allow fine jewelry to “fall by the wayside,” whether it’s something of yours that’s now out of favor, or a family piece that has never been worn, simply because it’s just “not you.” There are solutions, and your jeweler has answers.   

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Joe Brandt is a local resident, and president of J.L. Brandt Company, offering speaking engagements and diversified fine jewelry advisory services to the general public since 1928. Readers are invited to submit questions or comments to [email protected] Names or contact information will not be used for publication, and all inquiries will be answered promptly.