What to Do With Old or Broken Jewelry

What to do with old or broken jewelry. Toronto jewelry store.

Photo by Paprika Studio Gallery

Jewelry has the amazing ability to carry memories, stories, and sentiments. Whether it’s a cherished heirloom passed down through generations or a piece you’ve collected over the years, each item holds a special place in our hearts. However, as time goes on, jewelry can lose its luster, experience wear and tear, or simply fall out of fashion. When faced with old or broken jewelry, the question arises: What should you do with these beloved pieces?

Here at Made You Look, we encourage folks to think twice before throwing out or selling their jewelry for so many reasons. Most importantly, many people have no idea about the possibilities they have when it comes to what they can do with their pieces. Your creativity and openness to new ideas are the only limits!

Moreover, it’s important to consider the environmental impact of throwing away your jewelry. Tossing your pieces contributes to the growing cycle of waste and overconsumption, while purchasing cheap replacements only perpetuates that cycle. Instead, choose to invest in the things you truly love – the pieces that have stood the test of time and hold deep personal meaning.

We’ve had several clients bring in old pieces from ALDO, The Bay, and other fashion retailers that they’ve had for many years and simply don’t want to let go of. We want to bust the myth that just because it wasn’t an expensive investment piece doesn’t mean you have to let it go!

Let’s explore some different ways to repurpose, restore, and reinvent your jewelry so that every piece continues to bring joy into your life!




1. Bring it in for an Evaluation and Cleaning

The journey of reimagining your jewelry starts with a visit to a reputable jeweler – like Made You Look. As experts in our craft, we can assess the condition of your pieces, identify any potential issues, and provide recommendations for restoration or transformation. A thorough cleaning can revive the sparkle of gemstones and the shine of metal, while revealing areas of opportunity and customization.

2. Determine the Value (Especially for Inherited Pieces)

Inherited jewelry often carries emotional value alongside its material worth. Before making any decisions, it’s essential to determine the actual value of the piece. We strongly recommend consulting with a certified appraiser like Made You Look to understand its value and historical significance. Armed with this knowledge, you can make an informed choice about whether to preserve, restore, or repurpose the piece.

3. Replace Missing or Lost Stones

Over time, gemstones may become loose or even fall out from their settings. Before you discard a piece due to missing stones, consider the option of stone replacement. Our skilled jewelers can match and seamlessly integrate brand new stones, restoring the piece’s original beauty.

4. Consider Restoration for Vintage Pieces

Vintage jewelry often carries a unique charm and character that’s hard to replicate with modern pieces. If you have a vintage item that has seen better days, consider investing in its restoration. This delicate process involves preserving the original design while addressing any damage and wear and tear. With the right craftsmanship and a delicate hand, you can bring a piece of history back to life.

5. Glue or Solder On Loose Pieces (Professionally)

Jewelry components like clasps, chains, or settings can become loose over time, making the piece unwearable. Professional jewelers can skillfully reattach or solder these components, ensuring your jewelry remains intact and safe to wear. Although a DIY fix can temporarily fix a loose stone, you can trust your pieces with our expert team who have the right tools and supplies needed to skillfully apply the intricacies of jewelry repair.

6. Alter Old Pieces to Breathe New Life into Them

Sometimes, a simple alteration can transform an outdated piece into a modern masterpiece. Consider altering the design by resizing, reshaping, or repurposing elements of the jewelry. You can change the color of the stones or update the shape of the piece to suit your style. For a bigger transformation, you can turn a pendant into a ring, or a brooch into a necklace – the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

7. Get Ideas from the Professionals

If you’re unsure about what to do with your old or broken jewelry, seek inspiration and ideas from professional jewelers or artisans. Come in and speak with our team, consultations are free! We can offer creative ideas that capitalize on the existing features of your pieces. A necklace might become a stunning bracelet, or a collection of charms could be incorporated into a unique, custom piece. Collaborating with our jewelers can help you think of new ideas you might not have considered on your own.

When it comes to revitalizing your jewelry, remember that each piece has the potential for a new chapter. Whether it’s a revitalized heirloom, a beautifully restored vintage piece, or a completely reimagined creation, the end result will be a testament to your appreciation for craftsmanship, history, and the enduring power of cherished possessions.

In a world that often encourages disposability and constant consumption, taking the time to cherish and rejuvenate your old and broken jewelry carries immense value. The pieces you possess are not just objects; they symbolize your history, style, and memories. By investing in the preservation, restoration, or transformation of your jewelry, you’re making a conscious choice to honor the past while embracing the future. Visit us at 1338 Queen Street West and bring all your jewelry so we can make the magic happen together!

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