What to Do with Broken Jewelry

by Nancy Plante November 02, 2017

What to Do with Broken Jewelry

A piece of jewelry bears a sentimental history, and when it breaks, its history, at that moment, seems to come to a standstill. But, just as when an old friend takes a bad step, it doesn’t erase the footprints left behind nor the path ahead; you both keep moving forward.

Read on to learn what to do with broken jewelry, respecting its romantic past and rectifying its journey ahead.

What to do with Broken Jewelry: The First Steps

Once you find that your jewelry has been broken, gather the pieces that you can find and store them in a safe container that won’t accidentally open and allow pieces to spill out. Once safely gathered and stored, you’re ready for a new beginning.

If one of your favorite earrings has broken, start by taking it to the place of purchase. They may be able to repair it or order a matching earring. A professional jeweler can often recreate the original piece with amazing exactitude.

Reconnecting with Broken Chains and Necklaces

A jewelsmith can repair a broken chain or necklace at the break or remove an unrepairable section, shortening it to a different length. If it has extensive damage, perhaps converting it into a bracelet could revitalize it and put it up front, on your wrist, where it could dangle and dance with new life.

If you're missing an earring you can turn that single remnant into a charming pendant. You’ll not only repurpose the earring, but you’ll add to its story, making it more valuable for you and observers who know its secret.

You can take a charm from a broken bracelet and slide it onto a chain to bring to life that necklace that just needed a special touch to bring it to life. Chains of clusters of several charms have become trendy, and you’ll have fun telling where all the different pieces came from. Pretty rings that don’t quite fit your finger or just never come out of the jewelry box make funky, fun charms for a necklace, too.

Limitless Opportunities with Beads and Pearls

Broken strings of pearls or other types of beads are the most versatile of all! You can transform them just by restringing them. You can make one long strand into two short ones, or convert it into a matching bracelet and necklace. By using a discrete clasp, you can make the matching pair convertible, joining the parts together to make a long, elegant necklace to use with an evening dress or low-necked blouse.

Broken strings of pearls and beads also work well to make several station necklaces. These pieces have short sections of chain framed by beads, showing off the delicate strand joining them, without detracting from the mass, texture, and color of the beads themselves.

You can add a lovely clasp to a broken single-strand necklace. Adorn your wrist with a two- or three-strand bracelet that will remind you of the journey and the ingenuity you used when you decided to turn the broken string into a splendid reminder.  

Maybe you would like a new look for serious pearls by sprinkling gemstone, silver, or gold beads between them on a single string. New colors might make an exciting splash of color against a more solemn, neutral blouse.

Restyling with Gemstones

Broken jewelry with gemstones provides endless opportunities to restyle the gems into new pieces. A skilled jeweler can convert earrings into a ring or a ring into a pendant.

A brooch that you wore when you dated your children’s father can become beautiful diamond studs to celebrate their coming of age. The gold from the original settings can be refined to put its value toward the new piece.

Dare to Differ

You have come to know your jewelry by using it  as it was designed. When it breaks, take advantage of the opportunity to use your imagination and try something different. What if the pin broke off a brooch that you adore, but never wear?

Maybe it was a gift and you want to show someone that it’s special to you. Try sewing it onto a clutch handbag, where it will add the touch of sparkle it needed. Even better, ask a jeweler to fashion it into a decorative clasp. Not only will it dress up your handbag but it will add charming functionality.

From here forward, when you find part of a pair missing, or a beaded bracelet catches on a sweater and bursts onto the table, don’t see it as a tragic end. Imagine the individual pieces as a bright beginning. Embrace the opportunity to add an exciting new twist to your jewelry’s journey together with you.

Nancy Plante
Nancy Plante


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