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What to Do With Holiday Gift Jewelry You Don’t Like

Written by Anna Currell
December 19, 2022

If you received holiday gift jewelry that you want to love (really, you tried!) but it’s just not working for you, don’t worry. You’re not alone: nearly half of Americans got a Christmas present last year that they didn’t want. Whether the jewelry doesn’t fit, the metal irritates your skin, or it’s just not your style, there are plenty of practical things you can do with your jewelry gifts instead of letting them gather dust in the back of your jewelry box.

Resize Your Jewelry 

Sometimes jewelry that doesn’t fit feels like a dead end; how can you wear something that might fall off, or worse, might get stuck? If you’ve received a piece of holiday gift jewelry that’s the wrong size, a professional jeweler can always adjust it for you. To lengthen or shorten the chains in your necklaces, bracelets, or anklets, just decide how you want the piece to fall around your neck or wrist in order to end up with the right chain length. You can also work with a jeweler to resize rings; use the guide below to find your ring size, and then you can lovingly let everyone know your correct size (just in case anyone wants to get you another ring next year). 

Get a Gold or Rhodium Plating

If you want to keep your holiday gift jewelry but it doesn’t match the rest of your collection, and you’re not into the mixed metal trend, have your piece rhodium-plated or gold-plated to fit seamlessly with the rest of your jewelry. Plating can also give your jewelry brilliance and luster; if you were gifted beautiful antique or vintage jewelry that’s lived a long and happy life, having it plated can boost its durability and add extra shine. Plating can also help if your jewelry is made of a kind of metal that irritates your skin. Most precious metals (like rhodium, gold, and silver) won’t irritate people with brass or nickel sensitivities, so precious metal plating adds a buffer layer between the irritant and your skin. But remember to always get allergy tested by the professionals; we’re jewelry experts, not doctors.


Rhodium plated ring

Convert Your Earring Back Type

If you’ve been given a pair of earrings but your ears aren’t pierced, don’t give up hope. A professional jeweler can easily convert any pair of earrings to clip-ons. Or if your ears are pierced but your new pair of earrings is too heavy, uncomfortable, or just isn’t your vibe, you can convert them into a more suitable style. For instance, a heavier earring with a shepherd's hook might pull a little bit more on your ear than it would with a push back, which has a secure backing that attaches to the earring post so it isn’t just hanging. Consider which kind of earrings you like best — and feel best in — so that you can feel comfortable and confident wearing them.


Replace the Gemstone

Say you're gifted a piece you really appreciate, but you just can't jive with the gemstone. Maybe it's the wrong color, maybe it's too flashy, or maybe it's not flashy enough! You can easily replace it with a different stone. You’d be surprised how much a new gemstone can completely change the look of a piece of jewelry. Do a little research to find the gemstones you like best, which are most durable or realistic for daily wear, and which shape you’re most interested in. Jewelers can source and set stones for you to ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. 

Repurpose the Gemstone

On the other hand, if you love the gemstone in your holiday gift jewelry but you’re not so into the rest of the piece, you can work with an expert jeweler to create a brand new custom piece around the stone. Keep the parts you like and design the rest yourself! This is a fun chance to get creative; turn a ring’s gemstone into a pendant, or rework the band of a ring to make it true to your style with an engraving, a halo of tiny gemstones, or a different prong setting. The possibilities are endless.


From left to right: prong setting, bezel setting, invisible setting, and channel setting.

Return, Regift, or Resell Your Gift Jewelry

If those jewelry customization options still won’t bring your holiday gift jewelry back from the brink, you always have the option to find the piece a new home. If it came with a gift receipt, exchange it for a piece of jewelry that’s more your style or buy something else entirely. You can also regift the jewelry to someone who you know will appreciate it; just because pearls aren’t your style might not stop your cousin from wearing them every day. You can also sell the piece of jewelry online or in a consignment store (but maybe keep this little detail from the person who gave you the gift). 

No matter the reason your holiday gift jewelry doesn’t work for you, there’s always a way to remedy the situation. The experienced jewelers at Quick Jewelry Repairs offer resizing, precious metal plating, earring back conversions, gemstone replacement, custom jewelry consultation, and so much more. We’d be thrilled to help you wear your holiday gift jewelry however it suits your style; take a look at all the options and find the one (or more) that excites you most.

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