What to Do with Old Jewelry

by Ryan Hart | Updated on September 25, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Do you have a collection of old jewelry you no longer want? You may be wondering what to do with it.

Fortunately, there are several options available to you. You can sell, recycle, pawn, consign, auction, upcycle, or repurpose your old jewelry.

Selling your old jewelry is a great way to make some extra cash. You can sell it online, at a local jewelry store, or at a pawn shop.

Recycling your old jewelry is also a great option. Many jewelers will take your old jewelry and use the metal and gems to create new pieces.

Upcycling or repurposing your old jewelry is a great way to give it new life. You can use the metal and gems to create new pieces of jewelry, or you can use the jewelry to decorate other items like picture frames or clothing.

Sell gold jewelry

Appraising Your Old Jewelry

If you have old jewelry lying around that you no longer wear, you may be wondering what to do with it. Before you decide to sell or repurpose it, it’s important to understand what you have in your possession. Here are some things to keep in mind when assessing your old jewelry:

Fine vs. Costume Jewelry

First, it’s important to distinguish between fine and costume jewelry.

There are many types of fine jewelry, including gold, platinum, silver, and gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires.

On the other hand, costume jewelry is made from less expensive materials like base metals, plastic, and glass and may have synthetic or imitation gemstones.

Identifying Precious Metals and Gemstones

To determine the value of your old jewelry, you’ll need to identify the precious metals and gemstones it contains. You can use a jeweler’s loupe or a magnifying glass to examine the piece closely.

Look for hallmarks or stamps that indicate the metal type and purity, such as “14K” for 14-karat gold or “925” for sterling silver.

For gemstones, you can use a gemstone identification chart or take the piece to a professional appraiser.

Estimating the Value of Old Jewelry

Once you know what you have, you can start estimating your old jewelry’s value. The value of a piece will vary based on the quality of materials, its condition, and its market demand.

For fine jewelry, you may consider getting a professional appraisal for an accurate value estimate.

Selling Your Old Jewelry

If you want to make some extra cash, selling your old jewelry is a great option. Here are a few ways to sell your old jewelry:

Sell Jewelry Online

Selling your old jewelry online can be a convenient and easy way to get cash for your items. There are several websites that allow you to sell your jewelry online, such as eBay, The RealReal, and Worthy.

These websites make it easy to list your items and connect with potential buyers. However, keep in mind that you may have to pay a commission fee or shipping costs.

Selling at a Thrift or Consignment Store

Another option for selling your old jewelry is to bring it to a thrift or consignment store. These stores will pay you cash or credit for your items on the spot. However, keep in mind that you may get less money for your items compared to selling them online or at a jewelry store.

Selling to a Jewelry Store

If you have high-end or valuable jewelry, selling to a jewelry store may be your best option. Jewelry stores will often pay top dollar for quality pieces. However, remember that you may have to negotiate the price and get less money than you would selling online.

Donating Your Old Jewelry

If you have old jewelry that you no longer wear or need, donating it can be a great way to give back to your community and help those in need. There are many organizations that accept jewelry donations, including thrift stores, Dress for Success, I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation, and more.

Thrift stores are a popular option for donating old jewelry. They often accept a variety of items, including jewelry, and use the proceeds from sales to support their programs and services. Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other local thrift stores are great places to donate your old jewelry.

If you’re looking to donate your old jewelry to a specific cause, consider donating to organizations like Dress for Success or I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation.

Dress for Success accepts donations of professional attire, including jewelry, to help women in need dress for job interviews and other professional events. I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation accepts jewelry donations to help support its mission of providing financial assistance to women undergoing breast cancer treatment.

When donating your old jewelry, be sure to clean it and package it properly. You can use small jewelry boxes or ziplock bags to keep the pieces organized and prevent tangling. If you have any documentation or certificates of authenticity, include them with the donation.

Repurposing and Upcycling Old Jewelry

If you have old jewelry lying around that you no longer wear or that is broken, don’t throw it away! Give your old jewelry a new purpose and life by repurposing or upcycling it. Here are some ideas for what you can do with your old jewelry.

DIY Jewelry Projects

One of the easiest and most fun ways to repurpose old jewelry is to use it in DIY jewelry projects. For example, you can create a charm bracelet using old charms and beads or make beaded sandals by attaching beads and jewels to a pair of plain sandals. You can also use old jewelry to make new earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Creating Home Decorations

Another way to repurpose old jewelry is to use it to create unique home decorations. For example, you can use old jewelry to decorate a lampshade, picture frame, or Christmas tree. You can also make a jewelry wreath by attaching old jewelry to a wire frame or use old jewelry to create drawer pulls or gift tags.

Making Fashion Accessories

You can also use old jewelry to make new fashion accessories, such as belts or camera straps. For example, you can attach old jewelry to a plain belt to give it some sparkle and personality or use old jewelry to create a unique camera strap that reflects your personal style.

Updating and Redesigning Jewelry

Finally, you can also update and redesign your old jewelry to give it a fresh new look. For example, you can take a plain cocktail ring and attach old jewels and beads to it to create a unique and eye-catching piece. You can also turn a vintage cameo cuff bracelet into a modern and stylish accessory by pairing it with more contemporary pieces.

Preserving Sentimental Jewelry

Sentimental jewelry can be difficult to part with, even if it’s no longer wearable. These pieces often hold significant emotional value and memories. So, what can you do to preserve them?

One option is to keep them in a jewelry box or display case. This way, you can still admire them and keep them close without worrying about damage or loss. You can also consider passing them down to future generations as a family heirloom.

Another option is to repurpose the jewelry into something new. This can be a great way to give new life to a piece while still preserving its sentimental value.


Where to sell gold jewelry

In this article, we’ve explored 10 different options for what to do with old jewelry. Whether you choose to sell your jewelry, upcycle it into something new, or keep it as a sentimental piece, the decision is ultimately up to you.

If you’re interested in upcycling your old jewelry, there are countless creative options to choose from. You could create bejeweled canvas art, repurpose jewelry into drawer pulls or gift tags, or even turn old necklaces into bracelets or pairs of earrings.

Of course, if you simply can’t bear to part with your old jewelry, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it as a sentimental piece. You could pass it down to future generations as a family heirloom or wear it on special occasions to remember the memories associated with it.

No matter what you choose to do with your old jewelry, remember that the decision is ultimately up to you. Take some time to consider your options and choose the one that feels right for you.

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About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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