Working with vintage jewelry isn’t just about cleaning up an old engagement ring and finding it a new owner. One of our most prevalent values as a business is sustainability, and we strive to work that into everything we do, including thinking of creative ways to transform a piece that we might not otherwise have a lot of use for in today’s day and age. Many antique pieces are slated by dealers to be melted down for their metal, and we hate to see that happen to such fascinating pieces of history! While there are many antique pieces of jewelry that we keep as close to their original state as possible, Laura and Amanda carefully examine every piece while they are sourcing new items for our shop, asking themselves, “Can this be saved? If it’s not something we would wear today, what can we do to revive this piece?”

Thinking this way creates a whole new category of vintage items in our shop: conversion jewelry! Our conversion pieces are some of our favorites for their uniqueness and enduring nature. We’ve converted stick pins and earrings to rings, brooches and buttons to necklaces, and even cufflinks to earrings. This is a great way to reuse vintage jewelry that just needs a little adjustment to make it trendy again. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite antique pieces we’ve converted recently!

Stick Pins to Rings

Antique stick pin rings are some of our favorite conversion pieces, because you can find almost anything adorning the head of a stick pin. Pins like these aren’t used as prevalently as they were decades ago. However, we’re always looking at how we can reuse the gold and gems that were used to make these pins, and some of the results from L&A’s innovation and creative thinking are truly lovely. Not only do we find uses for the ornamental head of the pin, but we love turning the gold sticks into dainty upcycled ring bands!

Brooches to Necklaces

While we do like to use brooches in both traditional and creative ways today, another great use for a vintage or antique brooch is as a conversion pendant. By simply removing the pin from the back of the piece and adding a bail and chain, we’ve found that many brooches make wonderful necklaces. 

Buttons to Pendants

One of our more recent conversions completed by our talented Associate Jeweler, Macy, started as a set of hunting buttons. These sterling silver Edwardian buttons featuring different kinds of wildlife transformed into beautiful pendants much more likely to be cherished as necklaces today.

Brooches to Earrings

Some of the earrings in our shop have been upcycled as well! We recently listed several ruby stud earrings that were converted from tiny antique brooches. Now it’s hard to imagine that they were ever anything but beautiful Edwardian stud earrings! We love to see that our customers share a love for these refreshed pieces.

Earrings to Rings

Finally, here’s a throwback to one of my personal favorite conversions which have long since found their new homes with two of our customers. We’ll never forget this pair of breathtaking pear diamond rings that were converted from a set of 1950s earrings. While they were a stunning pair of earrings, we absolutely love seeing them worn on the finger!

Refreshing old jewelry into new treasures is one of the most fun and exciting things about the vintage jewelry business, and we can’t imagine our jobs without that added opportunity for creativity. Browse conversion jewelry in our shop to find your unique antique or vintage treasure! And don’t forget to comment below: what’s your favorite way to upcycle an old vintage piece?

- Jess Lynne 💖

October 29, 2021 — Jess Lynne

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