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What to Do with Used Jewelry: How to Donate, Sell, or Redesign Your Pieces

Written by Anna Currell
May 30, 2023

If you love jewelry, you might notice that with every passing season, you accumulate more and more pieces. While some pieces in your collection may hold sentimental value, there may be others that you no longer wear or enjoy. Instead of letting them gather dust, there are several ways to repurpose and rehome your used jewelry. In this article, we’ll explore three different possibilities: donating, selling, or redesigning. Let’s take a look at each option to find the best one for you.

Donate Your Used Jewelry

Donating used jewelry is a wonderful way to help those in need and give back to the community. Charities such as Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and Dress for Success accept jewelry donations and then use the proceeds from the sale of donated items to support their programs. 

Another option is to donate to organizations that create wigs. Wigs for Kids and Locks of Love are two organizations that accept jewelry donations in order to create custom hairpieces for children and adults who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, alopecia, or other medical conditions.

When donating jewelry, it is important to research the organization and ensure that they are reputable and responsible. If they have 501(c)3 status, you should request a receipt that lists the value of your donation because it may be tax-deductible.

Sell Your Used Jewelry

Selling used jewelry is a great way to make a little extra money while decluttering your collection. Let’s explore how to sell used jewelry through online sites, consignment shops, and jewelry-specific marketplaces.

Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces such as eBay, Etsy, and Facebook Marketplace are popular options for selling used jewelry. These platforms allow you to reach a large audience of potential buyers directly, without going through a middleman. Because you can set your own prices on these platforms, it’s important to research similar pieces to ensure that you are pricing your jewelry appropriately. Taking high-quality photos and including detailed descriptions of your jewelry’s metals, gemstones, and any markings or hallmarks can also help attract potential buyers.

Consignment shops like Buffalo Exchange are another option for selling jewelry. These shops will typically buy your jewelry from you and then resell it at a higher price so that you don’t have to deal with displaying the piece, finding customers, and setting a price. Consignment shops often specialize in certain types of jewelry or cater to specific demographics, so it is important to do your research and find a shop that aligns with the style and estimated value of your jewelry.

Jewelry-specific marketplaces such as Ruby Lane or 1stdibs are another option for reselling higher-end or rare pieces. These sites often require sellers to meet certain criteria, such as providing proof of authenticity or appraisal documents. These extra steps mean that businesses like these can give you access to a larger audience of buyers who are specifically interested in high-end, high-quality jewelry.

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Redesign Your Used Jewelry

Redesigning jewelry is a great way to breathe new life into pieces that you haven’t been wearing very much. This option allows for a more personalized approach, since you can customize the piece to fit your style and preferences. There are several ways to redesign your jewelry, including:

  • Resetting Stones: If you have a piece of jewelry with a beautiful stone but a less than desirable setting, consider having the stone reset in something new. This can update the look of your jewelry and highlight the beauty of the stone in a piece you’ll be glad to wear.
  • Engraving: If you have a piece of jewelry that holds sentimental value, consider updating it and making it your own with a custom engraving. Adding initials, a date, or a unique, ornamental design can add a personal touch to the piece and make it feel new again.
  • Gold or Rhodium Plating: If a piece you love is starting to look a little worn, it might just need to be replated. Getting gold or rhodium plating will restore your jewelry to its original luster, making it look new and protecting it against further tarnishing at the same time.  
  • Creating a New Piece: If you have multiple pieces of jewelry that you no longer wear, consider taking the best elements from each and turning them into a new bespoke piece. For example, you could use the stones from a pair of earrings to create a pendant necklace, or combine the chains from two necklaces to create a single, layered necklace with one clasp.

When deciding which option is the best fit for your used jewelry, consider the value and sentimentality of your piece along with your personal goals and preferences. By taking the time to research and explore your options, you can breathe new life into your jewelry, make a positive impact in your community, or even make a little profit. Contact our professionals at Quick Jewelry Repairs to have your used jewelry cleaned and polished as a first step! 

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