Designing an Older Diamond Into a New Ring

December 3, 2018

Maybe you want to repurpose your mother's or grandmother's engagement ring because you have a strong sense of family history. Perhaps, you’re trying to save a few dollars.  Nothing wrong with that; you have a wedding to pay for! Some people are so eco-conscious that they prefer to reuse rather than buy something new. (Some people purchase an above ground diamond for the same reason) There are a lot of reasons to reuse a family heirloom and several ways to do it. If you have a pretty ring in your family, this may be a route to consider. Keep on reading for some of our upgrading tips and to see some of our vintage options that your prospective bride to be might love!

vintage oval engagement ring

Heritage Cuts Both Ways

If you’re planning to surprise your girlfriend with a marriage proposal and a family heirloom diamond ring, you should know your audience. Is family history important to your girl? Does she feel a strong connection to your family? Would you get the ring from her family? These are questions you should have the answers too before approaching a proposal with a family heirloom ring. Some women might love it, but others may want to create a new history with you, rather than wear someone else’s stones.

Make sure the ring comes from a happy marriage. People can be superstitious about jewelry and wearing a ring that came from a broken marriage might not be the best way to start your future. This of course doesn't mean you'll have an unhappy future because of the ring, but it doesn't hurt.

Up cycling

So, assuming that your prospective fiancée is a good candidate for an heirloom jewel, what's next? If the ring is beautiful and your girl loves vintage style jewelry, you might only need to have the diamond ring sized to fit her finger and polished. Then again, the condition of the ring, or her fashion preferences, might call for a redesign.

“Up-cycling” means reusing what you have in a new way, rather than buying something entirely new. Family & Co. Jewelers can take apart your old jewelry and make it look a little or a lot different. If you go this route, it’s essential to communicate to us partner’s style. 

If you need to get a little inspiration, take a look at our selection of diamond semi-mounts by Verragio, Simon G, Zeghani, Artcarved, Scott Kay, Sylvie, Beverley K as well as our own designs.  The diamond ring pictured here features a mix of modern and vintage designs while still keeping elements that will make the ring stand out. You want just as much sparkle in a vintage ring as in a modern one.  All or our rings are available in your choice of metals; platinum, rose, white or yellow gold.

vintage solitaire engagement ring


Lots of guys want to surprise the woman they love with the perfect ring. But, when you’re going through this much work, it might be time to collaborate with her rather than risk getting the update wrong. This isn’t a ring that you’ll be able to take back and exchange for another one. Consider proposing with the old ring, stating that you want to use it to create something new together.

If you are dead set on surprising her with the redesign, collect as much data as possible on her style. Your jeweler will want to see pictures of her favorite jewelry and clothes, understand her size and coloring, and maybe even check out her Facebook, Pinterest or other social media.

                                                            sylvie pinterest

Designing with Older Diamonds

Older diamonds look considerably different than new ones. Vintage diamonds have a more subtle sparkle than modern cut diamonds. Your old diamonds might also be slightly abraded or chipped. Family & Co. Jewelers works with a very taleneted diamond cutter if you want those chips polished away.  We can even recut the diamond to a modern cut diamond if you prefer.  Rose gold or yellow gold might be more flattering than white gold for diamonds that have some color to them.  Some setting styles can hide chips; if you decide not to have your diamond repolished. Your old diamonds will look more at home in pieces that incorporate vintage details, such as filigree and hand engraving.

Family gemstones are precious in a whole different way than new stones. If you and your intended value connection to family, updating your family heirloom's ring may be the perfect way to go.  Family & Co. Jewelers is here to guide you with your decisions.

Family & Co. Jewelers