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Second-Hand Rings?

Eva LeeLast updated January 29, 2024, 1:42 PM
vintage bridal ring set
Photo credit: Fallon Michael

Yes, there is such a thing as second-hand rings! Any diamond rings, plain bands, or jewelry that are passed down from grandparents to parents to you… if you are lucky. Second-hand rings could be refurbished, resized, redesigned, or completely repurposed.

A classic band can be simply polished and sized to fit the new owner. A heavy art-deco ring can be taken apart, and melted down and the materials can be used for a completely new design. Not a fan of your nana’s Three-stone engagement ring? Simply use the bigger diamond for a center stone for your own ring and have the other two smaller diamonds turned into cute earring studs! Be creative!

Can we all agree that vintage diamonds are absolutely gorgeous!? Some of the diamonds, however, when taken out of the original settings, might have some small chips or even some large chips. The diamonds might also have some scratches or abrasions. This is actually normal and means the ring was well-loved and much enjoyed.

There are a few things to consider if reusing a vintage diamond. Any small chips can and should be polished. Any large chips must be addressed before setting the diamond into the new setting. If the chip is indeed large when polished, the diamond might lose some of its carat weight. Sometimes depending on the direction of the chip, the diamond might become a bit off shape when repolished. This is, however, much necessary in order to preserve the stone from further damage.

Always consider repolishing the diamond when re-setting into a new setting—especially a vintage diamond. The polishing gives the diamond its shine and soul back, and it allows the light to reflect better at the diamond’s facets. Repolishing a diamond is a much-needed expense to ensure the long life of the stone. If diamonds could only talk ... imagine all the stories we could hear!

Eva Lee

I’m Eva Lee, a jewelry designer, and a gemologist. Working in the jewelry industry since 2013 at a lovely boutique located in Washington DC. After a year of an internship, I knew this is my dream job and one of the best industries out there. Taking a small part of someone’s love story is truly a remarkable feeling and an absolute honor. We work with clients one on one to create dreamy engagement rings, wedding bands, earrings, necklaces, and other jewelry pieces.