How to recycle your jewellery

When it comes to recycling, jewellery may not be the first thing you think of. Did you know you can mail your jewellery to be recycled for free?

I love the idea that if things don’t bring you joy they should not be around, and as part of my 2016 New Years Resolutions have taken up de-cluttering my wardrobe and drawers, once and for all. A box of old jewellery has been donated to charity, while high value pieces are waiting to be sold. Below is an overview of what you can do with beautiful things that no longer bring you joy — whatever destiny you choose for them, there’s plenty more information online that’s is worth checking out.

Reuse

If the item is in good condition, perhaps it would be appreciated by a friend? It could also be give to a charity shop, or you could sell it online on places like eBay.

Broken or low value jewellery

I recently discovered that you can send any unwanted and even broken jewellery for recycling, and you don’t need to pay for posting.

I gave my jewellery away to fundraise for Friends of the Earth (environmental charity), using this address:

Freepost RTKE-ELKH-GTJH
Friends of the Earth
Unit 14
Amber Business Village
Amber Close
Tamworth B77 4RP

Recycle it yourself

You can use your old jewellery to make nice new things for yourself or to give away as presents — projects can range for super easy to semi-professional. You could book yourself on a crafts course to learn how to recycle silver, or look around on Pinterest for DIY jewellery projects.

High value jewellery

If your unwanted jewellery is high value because it’s a high value brand you can try selling it online or through an intermediary.

Precious metals and gems

If you have jewellery made from high quality gold or silver, you may want to or bring it to a jeweller where it can be melted down and turned back into whatever you want. Recasting may be the best option if jewellery has a sentimental value, for example you inherited it from a family member.

There are a number of ways to sell precious metals, and each method has its own benefits and limitations. Cash-for-gold companies are very convenient but may not offer the best rate. Such companies and many high street jewellers only value the metal they can use, while the whole object may actually have a higher value due to craftsmanship, and may interests an antiques collector or a specialist seller. To get a good price through a direct sale you may need to get a professional valuation. Lastly, remember that the price of gold fluctuates depending on the economy so it’s wise to look at price fluctuation when choosing the time to sell.

Precious gems can also be sold separately or as part of an item.

If you decide to join us on a decluttering journey, have fun and let us know how it goes!