How To Sustainably Dispose of Your Unwanted Jewellery

How To Sustainably Dispose of Your Unwanted Jewellery

When it comes to jewellery, there may be a variety of reasons why you are considering getting rid of some pieces. Perhaps the items you previously bought did not stand the test of time and are no longer fashionable or maybe your style has simply evolved over time. For many, spring is a popular time to clean out the home environment of things you don’t wear anymore. While we love a good clean out, how you dispose of your items is something we all should take into consideration as many of these items end up in landfills.  

In this month's blog, we’re sharing the different ways you can recycle or upcycle your old jewellery. 

The Environmental Impact 

When it comes to disposing of jewellery we no longer feel serves a purpose, for many, the first instinct may be to simply throw it away. However, the reality of this is that jewellery is not biodegradable, will find it's way into landfill and will most likely stay there forever. Over time people have become increasingly concerned about the environment and are actively looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint through recycling. Even though some items can easily be recycled such as bottles, it can be hard to divert them from stockpiling in landfills. Luckily there are a few options you can consider when it comes to your old jewellery. This could be an opportunity for you to get creative and revamp your items or get informed about how to properly dispose of your jewellery. You can read more about the environmental impact of costume jewellery in our previously blog Vintage Jewellery & Sustainability.

Recycling VS Upcycling 

What is the difference between recycling and upcycling you may ask?  


You might be more familiar with the term recycling, the process of turning waste into new products, but how does this apply to jewellery? If your jewellery is made from quality materials such as gold, the recycling process is a little different. This type of jewellery can be taken into a workshop where they tend to melt down the gold and reused into new jewellery. It is either refurbished and sold, broken down to use for other repairs, or sent to be smelted and used in the industry. 


Unlike recycling, upcycling your old jewellery is a creative alternative where instead of throwing the item away that is an outdated reflection of your past style, you revamp it to reflect you in the present. Upcycling aims to reuse a product so that it has a longer lifespan before it gets discarded as waste. With a growing demand of sustainable fashion, upcycling is a way to create a unique piece that is kind to the environment. 


Another great option is repurposing your jewellery. How is repurposing different to recycling and upcycling you may ask? Well, the process of repurposing transforms your sentimental pieces by giving them another life without breaking down the product. Here are some examples of work we repurposed for some customers.

This beautiful aquamarine brooch was a piece we had in stock that caught the eye of one of our lovely customer and requested to be turned into a ring. Together we were able to come up with a design to turn the brooch into a beautiful ring she'd be happy to wear on a day to day basis.
This wonderful ring was converted into a magnificent pendant after a customer wanted to find a new way of wearing her ring more. The results were superb! 

How Can We Help? 

Here at Powells Vintage Jewellery we pride ourselves on our sustainable practices, and find joy in helping our customers give new life to their beloved jewellery through our repairs and repurposing service. When jewellery is damaged sometimes it can be salvageable with a repair or perhaps use several pieces of jewellery to make one new piece.

We also offer a purchasing service if you wish to sell your jewellery, or you can request a part exchange offer. This of course depends if it is a piece of jewellery we may be interested in. In the case where we don’t buy your jewellery from you, do not be discouraged, we will always suggest other places that may be interested in purchasing your items. Jewellery that we do buy normally is refurbished and is sold on to find a new home. If you are interested in selling your jewellery see our dedicated page by clicking here.

If you’re looking to recycle, upcycle, or repurpose some of your old jewellery, click here to book an appointment.