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Wondering what to do with old jewelry? Here are 11 options

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What do you have in your jewelry box?

A diamond engagement ring from a divorce?

Gold or silver jewelry — like a broken gold chain or necklace from high school?

Estate or antique jewelry that is sentimental but unworn?

Diamond jewelry — like a tennis bracelet or stud earrings that frankly, were never your style?

The good news is you have many quality options for your old jewelry — including selling it for immediate cash to a reputable buyer. 

We recommend CashforGoldUSA because it accepts all gold, silver, diamond and gemstone jewelry, pays within 24 hours, a BBB A+ rating, and a best price guarantee.

In addition to selling, here are ways you can get rid of your old or unwanted jewelry:

1. Sell your old jewelry

Our No. 1 recommendation for selling jewelry is CashforGoldUSA, which has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, pays within 24 hours, and buys a wide variety of jewelry, gold, silverware, gemstones and coins.

In addition to CashforGoldUSA, here are other places to sell your jewelry online.

How much does old jewelry sell for?

Old jewelry, if it is fine jewelry, is typically worth its scrap value — that is, the spot price of the gold, silver or platinum it contains, plus the resale value of any diamonds or gemstones, minus the buyer's commission, which can be 20% to 70%. An exception is if your jewelry is a very unique design or is from a known luxury brand like Tiffany or Cartier.

Learn more about the value of scrap jewelry components in our guides on selling gold, silver, platinum and diamonds.

2. Recycle unwanted jewelry

Gold and silver buyers ultimately recycle your fine jewelry, smelting it down into bars, bullion, coins that can then be turned into other jewelry, electronic components or other uses. This is good for the environment, as metals and gemstone mining and processing is extremely toxic to the environment.

3. Pawn jewelry

You may consider pawning your jewelry to a pawn shop near you, especially if you need money quickly. While pawn shops have a reputation for being sketchy, the reality is that most pawn shops are reputable businesses with deep roots in their communities.

How much do you get for pawning jewelry?

As with other things sold to pawn shops, you will get 25% to 60% of the retail value of your item from the pawnbroker. This may be tempting if you really, really need the money very quickly, but there are other ways to get a much higher return on your jewelry — which is likely one of the most valuable things you own.

If you need money but don't want to part with your jewelry, consider a jewelry loan from Diamond Banc. A jewelry loan allows you to use your jewelry as collateral to secure a loan, in exchange for interest.

Here's why we like Diamond Banc:

  • Accepts diamonds, fine jewelry, luxury watches, gold and precious metals valued at $500 to $500,000
  • Loans up to 80% of the estimated liquid wholesale value of your jewelry
  • Interest rates start at 2.5%
  • Receive funds in as little as 24 hours
  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating

Check out our Diamond Banc review and get a low-interest loan on your jewelry from Diamond Banc >>

Is it better to pawn jewelry or sell it?

Pawning jewelry will get you quick cash. But spending just a little more time getting multiple offers, including from online gold buyers, will likely earn you more money for your jewelry.  

4. Consign it

Jewelry stores and antique shops both may purchase your estate and vintage jewelry — either for a flat rate or on a consignment agreement.

Consignment shops typically accept an item for consignment and then pay the original seller a percentage of the sales price if and when the item sells. 

Expect consigning your jewelry to take longer than pawning and direct sales or online sales, and consignment stores typically do not net higher profits for the seller.

5. Use it as a collateral for a loan

If you have a piece of fine jewelry or an old watch that would sell for at least $500, and you prefer to keep it but need the money, there are companies that specifically offer jewelry loans.

Our recommended partner is Diamond Banc because:

  • A+ BBB rating (accredited since 2014)
  • Secure mail-in process 
  • Also has locations for drop off in Tampa, Boca Raton, Miami, Aventura, Orlando, Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Kansas City, Columbia, and Rochester
  • Borrow between $500 and $500,000
  • Rates as low as 2.5%
  • Receive funds in as little as 24 hours
  • Accepts diamonds, fine jewelry, luxury watches, gold and precious metals
  • Loans 65%-75% of the estimated liquid wholesale value of your jewelry
  • Assets are fully insured and stored in alarm-protected, 24-hour security monitored, fireproof vaults
  • Offers 30-day loans that can be extended for as many 30-day periods as needed

6. Auction it

While some auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's cater exclusively to the wealthy looking to buy and sell items worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, the truth is that online jewelry auctions are much more accessible than you might think. Some, like Worthy.com, will accept and list for auction pieces of high-value jewelry from brands like Tiffany and Cartier.

7. Upcycle or repurpose jewelry

If you have a diamond engagement ring from a past relationship, you may consider repurposing the stones into a necklace, earrings or other piece. Some people then have the gold or platinum setting melted down for the new setting.

Repurposing diamond engagement rings

Often, people will find ways to repurpose the stone and even the metals in an unused engagement ring. This can include:

  • Turning the diamond from an engagement ring after a divorce into a necklace, earrings or another ring or other jewelry for either the owner, or her children.
  • Turning an inherited engagement ring's stone and metal into a ring or other jewelry for relatives of the former owner.
  • Gifting an engagement ring to a newly engaged couple who use it in its current or a new setting.

I always think repurposing an engagement ring from a divorce is really bad mojo. Diamonds are not hard to come by. If you want a nice piece of diamond jewelry — for yourself, your kids, your bride-to-be — sell that engagement ring and use the money to buy a nice, fresh new one without the bad memories.

Repurposing old or broken jewelry

There are many creative ways to repurpose old or broken jewelry: have it melted down into a new piece, include a gemstone or diamond in a cluster of new stones, and take a vintage or sentimental piece of jewelry and refashion and redesign the materials into something of your taste.

Upcycling old jewelry

Many jewelers will happily let you cash in your diamond, gemstone, gold and other jewelry towards a credit to upcycle your old jewelry into something larger, more modern, or simply more your style and taste.

You can also take it upon yourself to sell your old jewelry and upgrade (upcycle) to something new and better.

For jewelry that has sentimental value, upcycling or repurposing it into a new piece is a great option. For jewelry that doesn’t have any sentimental value, you might choose to do something else with it.

8. Gift it to loved ones

If you feel the need to cleanse your jewelry box or otherwise put your unused, old jewelry to good use, give it away to family or friends.

You may have a loved one who appreciates its vintage — such as a relative who also knew the person from whom you inherited your pearls.

If you’re looking to get rid of your old jewelry quickly just for the sake of clearing it out — or if you want to make a charitable contribution — there are several places you can donate it. 

  • To a charity auction
  • To a thrift store
  • Nonprofits like Dress for Success, I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation, or Support Our Troops
  • Post it for free on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace

10. Give away your old jewelry

Post it for free on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or donate a piece of fine jewelry to a charity auction — and enjoy the tax deduction and good feels.

11. Trade your old jewelry in on a new piece

Most jewelry stores will allow you to trade in your old jewelry for an upgraded piece. You’ll just have to pay the difference in price between the two. 

A lot of stores will offer you a higher trade-in value than cash value as an incentive to buy something new (similar to the way car dealerships entice you with a high trade-in value so you’ll purchase a new car from their lot).

FAQs about what to do with old jewelry

What can I do with cheap jewelry I don't want?

If your jewelry is made of any precious metals or gemstones, you can sell it to a jeweler, gold or silver buyer, or pawnshop. Some high-end costume jewelry may have resale value on ebay or at a local antique or consignment shop. 

However, if your costume jewelry doesn’t have a high value, you can donate it to a nonprofit or charity auction. You can also give it away to someone you know or post it for free or low price on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace — or let a child in your life use it for dress-up.

How do you dispose of old costume jewelry? 

If your jewelry has any gold or sterling silver beads or a clasp, you can sell it to a buyer like CashforGoldUSA, which partners with a refinery that will smelt it down into bars, bullion and coins that can be turned into other jewelry, electronic components or other items.

If your jewelry doesn’t contain precious metals but is still in good shape, you can donate it to a thrift shop or charitable organization.

When should you throw out jewelry?

The following items typically do not have much resale value:

  • Silver-plated jewelry
  • Costume jewelry that is not in style nor is made by a known brand
  • Pearls
  • Small gemstones

Now, you may be able to find someone who loves the designs and is happy to pay you a modest price for these items, or you can donate them to a thrift store and enjoy the tax deduction. Someone may want them for crafts or art projects, including a school, college or community art program.

Otherwise, sometimes you just have to throw out jewelry, and that is OK — especially if you tried to give it away and no one wanted it!

Can you get money for old jewelry?

There are a lot of ways to get money for your old jewelry. Estate jewelry can be sold to an antique buyer, consignment shop, pawnbroker or online via a site like Etsy. Or you can sell your old gold, silver or gemstone jewelry to an online jewelry or gold buyer. 

You can sell your gold, silver, platinum, gemstone and diamond jewelry to CashforGoldUSA, which our investigation found to pay the most of its competitors for jewelry. Get a 10% bonus and 24 hr. payment now >>

How do you know old jewelry is valuable?

Get your jewelry appraised or your diamond appraised to understand what you have and how much it's worth.

You can also get the melt value of your old jewelry with this online gold calculator from CashforGoldUSA:

CashforGoldUSA informational gold calculator
CashforGoldUSA informational gold calculator

This calculator is for information purposes only and is not the amount you should expect to receive. It provides the highest melt value of your gold today, not an offer. Your offer will depend on your appraisal.

Bottom line: Is it worth it to sell old jewelry?

If you have fine jewelry with precious metals, diamonds and gemstones, then you definitely should sell your old jewelry! Gold and silver prices are around record highs, and diamonds are always worth something.

Get a quick quote on your old jewelry from CashforGoldUSA, which accepts all gold, silver, diamond and gemstone jewelry, pays within 24 hours, has a BBB A+ rating and a best-price guarantee.

Start selling your old jewelry now >>

How much does old jewelry sell for?

Old jewelry, if it is fine jewelry, is typically worth its scrap value — that is, the spot price of the gold, silver or platinum it contains, plus the resale value of any diamonds or gemstones, minus the buyer's commission, which can be 20% to 70%. An exception is if your jewelry is a very unique design or is from a known luxury brand like Tiffany or Cartier.

Can you get money for old jewelry?

There are a lot of ways to get money for your old jewelry. Estate jewelry can be sold to an antique buyer, consignment shop, pawnbroker or online via a site like Etsy. Or you can sell your old gold, silver or gemstone jewelry to an online jewelry or gold buyer.

Is it worth it to sell old jewelry?

Yes! Gold and silver prices are around record highs, and diamonds are always worth something.

2 Comments

I have a LOT of jewelry that has gemstones. Most pieces I’ve never worn. I want someone to enjoy them. My sons don’t want/need them. I’d rather leave the monies to them. I don’t have any females in the family to give it to. I have too much to be appraised (unaffordable with the number of pieces). I’m 74 and trying to clean out things so my kids don’t have to. Thanks!

thank you for all the great information. with everything that’s going on i thought it best to sell my gold jewelry that I’m not wearing rather than saving it for my kids or their kids. who knows what will happen down the road. i have broken chains, gold with diamond stud earrings, some other gold earrings etc.. hope to sell without getting ripped off..
so.. thank you

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