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Out with the old and in with the new: Reconditioning Jewellery

The new year, and new decade, brings resolutions of health, wellbeing and fresh beginnings. As well as taking time to refresh our mind and bodies, it can also be a great time to bring old jewellery back to life! Those old sentimental pieces lying around deserve a new sparkle, to allow you to fall in love with them all over again.



Reconditioning jewellery can be a lovely way to cherish fond memories whilst giving a new lease of life to older pieces that were perhaps once very treasured.  At McGowans, we pride ourselves on our high levels of service and expert knowledge on vintage and antique jewellery. Our team are highly skilled in ensuring second-hand stock can shine again. With 95% of our second-hand stock purchased over the counter in our stores, the pieces are very unique and have often been passed down generations as family heirlooms.  We’re proud to hold the largest stock of reconditioned second-hand jewellery in the Argyll Arcade, Glasgow’s iconic jewellery retail destination.



About our reconditioned jewellery


  • 100% of our second-hand stock is purchased over the counter. Each item is carefully considered for stock making our collection of reconditioned stock unique.
  • Our in-house workshop reconditions recently bought pieces of second-hand jewellery to bring it back to life. The adjustments to the jewellery are instructed by our experienced staff who have been working with second-hand stock for over 20 years.
  • Most reconditioned rings will be sized to a standard finger size L, M or N to allow the majority of our customers to try on. All claws are checked for retipping and additional shanks are added where necessary, i.e. if they are too thin or worn. Rings can be resized for customers if necessary.
  • We will often replace stones as they could be missing altogether, chipped/damaged or simply not matching. We can replace diamonds and a wide selection of gemstones.
  • Where hallmarks are not visible or were never applied due to the age of the item, the gold is tested at our workshop to identify the carat of gold and ensure the jewellery is valued accordingly.
  • All personal engravings are erased, unless dated Victorian or Edwardian as this adds to the item’s value.
  • Chains and bracelets are checked carefully for any previous solders and damaged or worn links are removed. Clasps are replaced if springs are worn and bolt rings are soldered closed if open.
  • Every item is polished to a high finish and checked for quality before being stocked in our stores.
  • Second-hand jewellery tends to be at our workshop for around 10-14 days to go through the full process of reconditioning before it’s ready for a new home.



Not every item that we purchase stays in its original form. Many are taken apart for their stones and altered significantly. For example, brooches can be turned into rings and vice versa. Below is a stunning example of how an antique diamond brooch was reworked into a stunning 3 stone diamond ring, with an exceptional diamond weight of D.7.62!



If you have an old piece of jewellery to sell, or perhaps you are looking to get it reconditioned for yourself, pop in store and our friendly team will be on hand to help. And, if you’re looking to buy, we have a wide range of antique and vintage stock to treat yourself or a loved one.