Have Tons of Heirloom Stones? Here’s How to Use Them All!

Kristen Baird

Kristen Baird Blog - Using Heirloom Gemstones - Header

Nothing makes me happier than a big bag filled with heirloom gemstones. (Okay, maybe my husband, boys, a day at the beach… but you get the idea!) Sometimes, a client comes to me with a piece studded with dozens of teeny-tiny gems, or sometimes it's a handful of unusually shaped stones that has them stumped. Could it really be possible to incorporate all these gemstones into a new design? Of course, it is! You just have to know how to use them.

Many of my favorite heirloom redesigns are riffs off my existing collection pieces. Here are a few of my top recommendations for your stones.

Cuff Bracelets and Earrings

Kristen Baird Blog - Using Heirloom Gemstones - Earrings and Cuffs

Stones that are flat on the bottom and rounded at the top are called cabochons. They’re often cut into unusual shapes in order to maximize a particular color or pattern in the stone, which makes them ideal for funky, chunky and fun pieces. I can place any cabochon into a Splash Cuff, transforming it into a colorful and unique statement piece that’s sure to have heads turning. Petite stones can also be added for an extra element of sparkle as I did with this 20th Anniversary Birthstone Cuff. 

Petite gemstones can also be added to my Ripple Hoops. This set is a Kristen Baird® twist on the classic hoop earring, with just a little extra sparkle and texture. And who couldn’t use a good set of hoops?

Custom Necklaces

Kristen Baird Blog - Using Heirloom Gemstones - Celestial Necklaces

When it comes to necklaces, you can’t go wrong with my brand-new Sunburst Pendant, which is great for combining big statement stones with petite accent stones. This piece can be designed with either a cab or faceted main stone, either oval or emerald cut. With so many options, you’re sure to walk away with a one-of-a-kind necklace!

Many of the pieces in my Celestial Collection are great for adding heirloom gems as well. The Crater and Half-Moon necklaces (as well as their mini versions) can be designed using either faceted or cabochon stones. It’s also super easy to make these pieces two-toned, so if you happen to have heirloom metal you’d like to incorporate, these are great options!

Kristen Baird Blog - Using Heirloom Gemstones - Necklaces

If you love that galactic vibe but have more stones to incorporate, the Orbit Necklace can take several stones. Pair it with a set of matching earrings to really bring the look to life. (I can also add multiple stones to the Orbit earrings.)

If your look is more floral than planetary, the Cherry Belle Necklace is a great way to showcase round and rose-cut cabochons. The Quint Pearl necklace can also be made with your treasured heirloom stones.


Kristen Baird Blog - Using Heirloom Gemstones - Rings

If you’re thinking about a customized engagement ring with heirloom stones, look no further than the Beneath the Stars. This dazzling design can be made with both round or oval faceted stones, and can even be set east-west. If you have small stones, they can be utilized for accent gems. (The standard design uses six, but I’m always happy to add more!) For a cushion-cut version, consider a design based on the Pansy Petals ring.

If you have multiple faceted stones in different shapes and sizes, don’t overlook my duo rings. The Cascade and Songbird in Sunlight both feature large central stones with offsetting accent stones for added artistic flair. 

Finally, I absolutely love adding stones in the middle of the Dandelion Double ring! (The DNA Double Helix ring is a great example of how this might look.)

As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to reincorporating heirloom stones into new designs. No matter what your collection looks like, don’t be shy about bringing it my way. Let’s get creative and have some fun!

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