Certainly, jewelry can be recycled, although it’s not as simple as recycling common household items such as newspapers and other paper products, for which you simply place the paper in a bin for the recycling truck to collect in the morning. 

Recycling your jewelry is more difficult because there are more factors to consider, such as sentimental and monetary value, the method of recycling, the location of recycling, etc.

However, there are numerous reasons to recycle your jewelry as opposed to simply discarding it.

Can Jewelry Containing Gems Be Recycled?

What happens if you have earrings or a necklace with real emeralds? If you send these items to someone who will remanufacture them or sell them as-is, they will also fetch a good price. 

If the piece has been appraised and you know how much it is worth, you might want to sell it on an online market. You can also search online for businesses that purchase or consign jewelry. 

San Francisco’s Estate & Lang Antique Jewelry is one example. You can obtain an estimate by sending digital images and any information about your items (clarity, color, carat, and cut).

Can It Be Reused?

Precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum typically retain their high market value. In fact, the market value of precious metals is typically more stable than that of precious stones. 

To recycle jewelry, the metals can be melted down and used to create new jewelry or other products. 

Because gold and silver do not have high melting temperatures, it is possible to have gold or silver jewelry melted down at the jeweler’s bench, although this method works best for simple, unadorned jewelry such as wedding bands.

Platinum and palladium, on the other hand, have extremely high melting temperatures, so they require specialized melting and recasting equipment, making the jeweler’s bench impractical. 

However, there are additional methods for recycling platinum jewelry, such as reusing portions of the old piece in the new design. Reusing the shank from an old piece of platinum jewelry in a new one is a common method of recycling older platinum jewelry.

It should be noted that, due to the time and effort required to recycle your “old gold” (or other precious metal), it is typically not cheaper to use “new gold” for a jewelry piece. The majority of individuals recycle the precious metals in old jewelry for sentimental, not economic, reasons.

Why Should You Recycle Jewelry?

There are numerous reasons why you may choose to recycle your jewelry, but if you’re still on the fence, here are a few compelling arguments. 

Not only does repurposing your old jewelry prevent it from being forgotten, but it also allows you to transform it into something new and dear to your heart. 

Whether it is a simple pendant a loved one gave you in college or an heirloom with precious stones, the sentiments behind a piece of jewelry cannot be quantified. 

To be able to update it to your taste and reuse it gives you the satisfaction of doing something for the environment while saving money on new jewelry. Here are several reasons to consider recycling your old jewelry.

Modernize Ancient Jewelry

When you open your jewelry box to select a piece to wear, you are bound to find a few outdated, worn-out, or mismatched pieces. 

You can contact any jewelry designer to find a creative way to give that outdated piece of jewelry a modern touch. This will prevent those aging and worn-out items from ever being abandoned.

Save Money

As a jewelry enthusiast, you may be aware that purchasing a new piece of jewelry for your wardrobe can be quite costly. 

You can recycle to save money and reuse something you already have, particularly if you have old jewelry containing valuable precious stones or gems. You can also find broken jewelry that you no longer wear and have it repaired or recreated.

Think Eco-Friendly

Protecting the environment is one of society’s top priorities. By choosing not to discard reusable items, such as old jewelry, you can play a small role in preventing environmental degradation. 

This will reduce emissions, and if everyone adopts this practice, it will have a truly global impact. So you can feel good about helping the environment while also getting rid of an old piece of jewelry.

How To Recycle Jewelry?

Not only is it possible to recycle silver, gold, and platinum, but it can also be profitable. These precious metals have a market value that is extremely high. 

At the time of publication, silver is valued at $21 per ounce, gold is valued at $1,300 per ounce, and platinum is valued at $1,500 per ounce. 

Each material can be melted down again and used to make jewelry or circuit boards for computers, among other things. Large signs proclaiming “We Buy Gold!” are prevalent in the majority of stores in communities of all sizes. 

However, how do you know that they are not attempting to defraud you by offering below-market prices for your items? 


Every piece of jewelry has some form of sunk cost. The cost of extracting raw materials from the earth and the environmental cost are measured in terms of habitat destruction and greenhouse gas emissions. 

And the human cost, which in the worst-case scenario includes exploitation, slavery, and war.

At the very least, it is wasteful not to reuse materials for which many people (and the planet) have already paid a hefty price. If you feel strongly enough about these issues, you could even call them disrespectful.

In this era of dwindling resources, reusing, repairing, repurposing, and recycling are not only the right thing to do, but they can also be extremely rewarding, particularly when it comes to jewelry.

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