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Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Posted by tinasoldhouse (My Page) on
Fri, May 25, 07 at 18:59

Just finished my first round of jewelry culling. It was like pulling teeth! For me, jewelry is just loaded with sentiment. As I sorted through everything, I broke it down into piles.

First pile was obvious donations or giveaways. In a second pile I placed all the pieces I love that need to be repaired. Then, in a third pile I placed the heirloom pieces that I need to have examined by a good jeweler -- determine value of pieces (no value, or value is in the antique setting, or setting and stone together, or just stone) and whether it would be appropriate to reset things so that I could wear items more often. I had never even considered removing stones from their original settings before, but I started thinking, "What's the point of having these things if I'm not going to wear them?" It's not like I have children or much family even to pass them on to, so who cares what I do?" I actually got a bit excited when I thought about the potential to create a few nice pieces of jewelry that I could wear comfortably without anxiety. The fourth pile was for gold jewelry I am willing to part with, but it may not be worth anything except for scrap. If I can, I'd like to get something for these items to help pay for new settings and repairs. I'll have to look into this process because I admit I don't know a thing about it, if it's possible or worth it. If not, there are a few things I could give away. In the fifth pile I placed all my grandmother's antique bead necklaces that need to be restrung. The sixth pile is sterling earrings that need to have their hooks replaced.

The jewelry designated as "keep" went back into a few boxes. I've determined that I need to organize everything better to make it easier to see and find things. I've been wanting to get a couple of larger boxes, but now I also think I want to create a flat mounting with hooks for the dressing room wall where I can hang necklaces and earrings. I still have a lot of stuff, but it's already a bit lighter after this first culling.

This afternoon I stopped in a beading place and inquired about the cost of restringing necklaces, so now I have a place to take my grandmother's old beads. Of course, the question now is, do I want to restring them to their original format, or design something new? Whew!

Tina


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Whwn my mother in law died, her two daughters went thru her jewelry box.and they found many expensive but outdated pieces,large cocktail rings and such that no young fashionable woman would wear. They took the pieces to a jewelry designer, had the stones removed and broke up several multi-stone rings. The jeweler remounted them on simple pendants and attached gold chains. I received two diamonds and a ruby. My two daughters received pieces also. It was very exciting. Good luck with your re-design projects.


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

I just went thru this a few months ago. I'm with you, why have it if you can't wear it? I ended up taking in a shoe box of misc. items for repair and reworking. Most were small repairs of less than $20.00. A few cost quite a bit more. I had a pin reworked into a pendant and a stone added to an empty setting. Now all the jewelry I own is in wearable condition! I'm still not into jewelry that much but like you it has much sentiment attached to it.

It feels so good to have that crosssed off my list. I've come to realize that those little things nag at me endlessly using up way too much energy. Remind me to reread this multiple times so I can motivate to tackle the next nagging item on my list!

Oh, I ended up selling a few scrap metal items to the jewelry store. Got a pittance. If you have the time or desire you might check out people who specialize in buying scrap precious metals...you may end up with more money.
T


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tre's idea of making a pin into a pendant can be done without the expense of a jeweler. I have 14k, sterling and faux metal "adapters" which I found online very reasonably. You can slide the metal bar of a pin through the bottom tube, and then loop your chain through the bale at the top. I do this often with my vintage brooches and always get lots of compliments. Do a google search for brooch adapter, you'll find them very reasonably priced.

I saw something online that you might find useful to both store and display your necklaces and earrings, and I've linked it below. You could attach it to a wall or the inside of your closet door. I like it because your jewelry is protected from dust, your necklaces can hang without tangling, and you can see everything. The closed door is a mirror, which makes it convenient, too.

When you restring the vintage beads you'll have the opportunity to have the necklaces made in exactly the right length you like best. Extra beads can be used to make earrings.

If you keep your eyes open for when the Bombay Store has a sale, you can get a fabulous jewelry box at half off. I have two gorgeous and really big beauties from there -- I have 7 jewelry boxes in all, including an armoire, and two table-top earring trees. I have so much jewelry that I don't keep any of it in our bedroom anymore. When our son moved out I repurposed his room just for my jewelry. I've got a really large and really beautiful library table and a marble-topped hallway-style table where I've placed all my jewelry boxes.

I should explain -- I'm a vintage jewelry collector/dealer. I've got about 600 pieces of vintage jewelry (mostly costume), but only my personal stuff is in jewelry boxes. The rest of the room has tons of boxes and several (ugly) plastic storage drawer sets. I used to sell my jewelry at antique shows and fairs, but it was too much work to fit into my busy schedule with a fulltime job. A plan I keep avoiding (!) is taking photos of everything and trying my hand at selling on ebay or something. I no longer want to hold on to all this jewelry.

Here is a link that might be useful: door or wall jewelry storage


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Jannie -- Thanks for reporting the positive experience of your SILs creating wearable jewelry from their mother's outdated pieces. How fun to receive such a gift!

Tre -- Thanks for the support to change the settings of some of my older pieces of family jewelry. I was saying to my husband tonight that even if I am careful to save the rings in their original state and pass them on to the only two direct family descendents, the recipients themselves might turn around and change the settings. I guess I want to know for sure I'm not permanently destroying something of value. I could save the original setting and pass it along with the new piece.

Oofasis -- Those jewelry storage pieces are really nice, very large. I just can't afford to spend that, although I've noticed that most nice boxes are quite pricey. Yes, the problem with my hook system idea is that things would get dusty. I also had this idea to use the same kind of wood display box we got for my husband's political button collection. You can hang them on the wall, and they come in several sizes. The lining can be changed to any fabric, and it's available in walnut. I'll have to examine it closely to see if I can adapt for hanging necklaces and earrings. It's 18x12 inches and cost $30, which isn't too bad. It would leave me with more money to put toward repairs and new settings, which is more important than storage at this point.

I need to put pieces of my grandmother's jewelry I will never wear in a separate box. I love looking at them every so often -- there are some things I can picture her wearing and it's enjoyable to hold the pieces and reminisce. These things don't have any business interfering with my getting dressed and ready for the day.

Tina


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tina,
A few years ago on a crafting site I visited, a lady had taken a piece of green material, outlined a "Christmas Tree" on it, and proceeded to "decorate" it with jewelry that she didn't want to wear. It looked very pretty in the pictures. For example the broach that was missing a stone, that would have been very obvious on your dress, was less noticeable with a gold chain draped like garland across it at just that spot.
Ellie


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Just to follow up, she had put this "Christmas Tree" in a picture frame to hang on the wall.

Ellie


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Ellie, thanks for the suggestion. I think I've seen something similar to which you're referring. It is a nice way to use pieces that are no longer wearable.

Tina


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tina would you consider backing a shadow box frame with velvet (black) and mounting her jewelry inside it? You could place it somewhere more public or IMHO hang it in a more private space where you can see it often...dressing room, closet, dry part of your bathroom, wall or your bedroom, next to your bed....


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

That's a good idea, tre. I would really enjoy seeing my grandmother's things. Her pieces are still wearable --some could actually have some small value -- so I'd want to attach them to the backing in a way that wouldn't ruin them. (I plan to pass them down to a relative.) I bet things could be pinned carefully and discretely so they would make a nice display. I'll have to add that to my project list. Thanks!

Tina


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Always happy to add to someone else's list of projects! Not sure how you could attach them for both wearability, good design and to insure their safe display. Thinking...:)


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

You could also *sew* them in place--a strong thread the same color as the backing, and it can always be snipped.

If you want to be able to take them out and put them back in, for a necklace, you could use thin straps w/ snaps, or you could make a fabric covered "roll" (about 1/2 or 1 inch in diameter), sew IT to the backing in a semi circle to represent the back of the neck, and then drape the necklace over it. That would set up the drape down below, hold the necklace in place against the fabric, and still allow you to remove the necklace.


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Here's the story about her jewelry. While all the pieces are wearable, they just aren't very fashionable, or they're difficult to wear. There are a few large pins (my favorite is a lovely Art Nouveau design with an amethyst-colored stone), a locket with her pre-marriage photo at 19 (she was born 1886), a detailed gold bracelet, and two bakelite rings. I like the idea of sewing or pinning them to the backing for display so they aren't ruined, but they don't need to be removable until I give them away.

For my regular jewelry, can you tell me what you think about using one of my husband's political button display boxes? I can't afford to buy an expensive jewelry box right now. It is $30 and has a walnut wood frame -- very simple but would fit in with the antique furniture in our dressing room. The backing can be replaced. I know the hinges and clasps are clunky looking, but they seem sturdy enough to handle opening and closing on a frequent basis. If I wanted, I could even apply something to help tarnish the metal. It measures 12"x18" and can be hung on the wall. My husband can always use it when I upgrade to a nice jewelry box.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tina I think your DH's box is a great start! It shouldn't be too expensive to find small (probably dark to show off gold or silver, think jewelry store) remnant of fabric to cover of the existing mat/backing. I think if you don't EVER intend to wear the jewelry, sewing on the bracelet and locket are the way to go. Obviously you should be able to pin on the broaches. What about the rings?? I think aging the hardware on the shadow box will make them less obvious but I guess it depends on what metals are used in the jewelry.
If your DH doesn't want to give up his display what about buying one of the open frames sold at Michael's and Hobby Lobby. I know both of these stores offer steep coupons and discounts on weekly basis. Cut foam board to fit opening, cover with fabric and afix jewelry. Hang it w/o any glass so you can admire the textures and jewelry details up close. The downside is dust.

No matter which route you choose, you're going to have a beautiful piece with lots of sentiment and you'll be honoring your grandmother. Post pictures please when you're done!


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Most of these are pins my Mom had
I have a few more to add.

Here is a link that might be useful: Framed Costume pins


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Minnie -- Those pins are so much fun! What a nice vintage frame. Just noticing you don't have any glass in the frame -- maybe I'm making this a bigger production that I need to. Thanks for sharing your display. I'm a little nosy, but are the curtains vintage fabric?

Tina


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

So you mean me? The curtains are just part of a coordinated set of Bedding that is actually my DGD's. the frame is rather old and Mom painted it white I decided to just add the purple felt and the pins. As I said I have more that I should put up.


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Minnie what a great display of pins.It is so much easier to see a picture of something than to try to describe the idea. Do you ever find that not having glass is a problem?
Tina, good options all around. Can't wait to see your pics!


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tina,
After I get home from spoiling the grandbaby I will look to see if I still have a link to the Christmas tree picture.

Ellie


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RE: Jewelry box weeding and organizing

Tina -- don't buy a big fancy jewelry box. At least, not according to our local police. My girlfriends house was robbed and they hit her jewelry armoire hard. She had mostly costume jewelry but a couple of small diamond earrings and a small diamond necklace or two.

The police said the crooks look immediately for a fancy jewelry box and then hit every thing in it. They suggested using drawers, the freezer, hidden in the closet -- anything but a large pretty box.

For the few pieces I have -- I have an old handmade wooden box -- has a little vintage velvet and trim covering it --- looks like it was made out of old cheese boxes. It is so far from beautiful -- its not even funny! Picked it up at a flea market for $10.

But I love the fact that someone took loving care to make it -- most likely as a gift.

I think the political box will be perfect for your pieces. And it can fit easily into a drawer if you want.

Cathy


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