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by Jesús Zabala - 4 min read

What to Do with Old Jewelry?

If you are a jewelry collector or just have a lot of pieces that you do not wear anymore, you may be unsure how to repurpose them. This is why we have prepared these great tips on what to do with old jewelry.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to handle old jewelry without just tossing it out and feeling guilty for it. Let’s dive in and explore your options.

What to Do with Old Jewelry
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: vasanty

What to Do With Old Jewelry

Whether you wear the pieces you own or not, you likely feel apprehension at the prospect of disposing of them. This is even more enhanced if the pieces are heirlooms inherited by family members or antique pieces.

There are plenty of ways to get rid of them or repurpose them without throwing them away. Some of our best tips on dealing with old jewelry are the following:

  • Sell old jewelry
  • Recycle unwanted jewelry
  • Pawn old jewelry
  • Consign jewelry
  • Auction jewelry
  • Upcycle or repurpose old jewelry
  • Gift unwanted jewelry
  • Donate unwanted jewelry
  • Give it away
  • Trade in old jewelry

1. Sell old jewelry

If you have gold or silver jewelry that you want to get rid of, then you might as well make some money from the pieces. You may get good value if the jewelry contains precious metals. 

Most jewelry shops will offer prices based on the melt value of the precious metals present, such as gold or silver. For instance, if you have a piece that is 14k gold, it means that 58.3% is pure gold while the rest is metals with no real value. This means that the wholesale price you paid is halved. 

Other factors that may impact the price you get are the condition of the jewelry and whether the designs are out of fashion or in. 

2. Recycle unwanted jewelry

If you are wondering what to do with old costume jewelry that is made of cheaper base metals, you may want to consider recycling them. This is because, without any pure metals present, the pieces are usually not worth much, if at all. 

The best way to recycle old costume jewelry is to take it to your local recycling facility if they accept scrap metal. Once the scrap metal is melted, it may be repurposed into other metal objects.

3. Pawn old jewelry

If you are looking for some instant cash, you can take your jewelry to a pawn shop. But it would be best if you were prepared to get less than the jewelry’s actual value, as pawn shops do not offer a lot.

4. Consign jewelry

If you want to sell your more valuable jewelry, another option is to take it to a consignment shop. Consigning jewelry means you take it to a shop that will handle the selling for you.

The consignment shop will find the buyer, and you may have to wait longer, but you will get more than with a pawn shop. The consignment shop will take a percentage of the sale as payment.

5. Auction jewelry

If you have antique or vintage jewelry that you think has a higher value than what you get at a shop, there is the option to sell it at an auction. If your old jewelry is old or antique and in good condition, you may get good value for it, even more than it’s worth. 

Auction Jewelry
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: Gunter Nezhoda

6. Upcycle or repurpose old jewelry

Another excellent way to keep an heirloom or another piece is to upcycle it or repurpose it into a different design that you will wear. For example, if you inherit a diamond ring that you don’t wear, you may upcycle it by removing the diamond and repurposing it into a necklace that you’ll wear.

7. Gift unwanted jewelry

This is an excellent way to ensure your old pieces go to someone who will care for them and cherish them. If your friends or a family member has expressed interest in any of them, you may surprise them by gifting them your old jewelry. 

8. Donate unwanted jewelry

If you want to do a good deed, donate your unwanted jewelry. For instance, you may donate your pieces to a women’s shelter. Not only will you extend the life of your old jewelry, but you’ll also make someone less fortunate happy. 

9. Give it away

You can also give the old jewelry away; it doesn’t have to be a gift to a close person if they don't want it. You may utilize social media to offer it to any interested person. This way, the jewelry will go to someone who will cherish it. 

10. Trade in old jewelry

There are jewelry stores that accept jewelry for credit at them. With this option, you get the opportunity to buy another piece for the value of your old jewelry. This may be an even better option than selling, as jewelry stores may offer you more in credit than they may offer in monetary value.

Trade in Old Jewelry
Source: shutterstock.com / Photo Contributor: vasanty

Conclusion

If you’re curious what to do with old jewelry, consider the ideas we discussed above. No matter which option you choose, you’ll ensure your old pieces are put to good use!

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.

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