Decluttering? Where and How to Recycle Your Old Jewellery and Watches

One woman's trash is another's treasure.

Last Updated on January 4, 2023

Having a clear out? Here, we share where and how to recycle your old jewellery and watches.

Many of us love shopping, but we’re all guilty sometimes of buying what catches our eye and never actually wearing our purchases.

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You might find yourself with a drawer of accessories like earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches that may never be paired with any outfit, or perhaps they’ve been a little too loved and are now broken.

Woman's hands wearing jewellery and watches

It’s around this time of year we all want to declutter, but if you’re in the same boat, don’t just throw your old accessories away! You can donate your old jewellery and watches to be recycled and resold.

Because of the high-quality materials and processes that go into creating jewellery and watches, it is one of the most expensive forms of consumer waste.

When you donate your old jewellery and watches to charity, you’re not just helping to recycle this precious resource but also keeping it out of landfills where it can potentially harm the environment.

If you have a few old pieces of jewellery, watches or other accessories lying around that you no longer wear and are ready to get rid of, there are a few places you can take them to.

Here’s everything you need to know about donating your old jewellery and watches.

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What can I do with old watches?

You can donate your old watches at Votch, a cruelty-free watch and accessories company that encourages its customers to practice sustainable fashion. They have partnered with recycling experts for their Take Back Give Back recycling programme, where they give your unloved watches a second life.

You will also be rewarded for your good deed! They offer a 15% discount for your next Votch purchase for anyone who donates their old watches. Votch is very serious about its commitment to sustainability and ethical practices.

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Donating your old jewellery and watches also helps raise money for good causes! Votch partners with different charities every three months and donate 10% of their profits.

Another place you can donate your watches is Watches for Charity, a company that recycles your unwanted watches to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. All you need to do is place your old watches in a bag and send them to them at W.F.Charity, PO BOX 3630, Barnet, EN5 9SX.

Watches for Charity has raised over £78,000 for Macmillan over the last six years. But if you want to do more than just give away your watches, there are other ways to get involved, which you can find on their website.

How do I get rid of unwanted jewellery?

When you donate your jewellery to charity, you’re helping to protect the environment.

Recycle Now is a national recycling campaign initiative for England and Ireland to encourage more people to recycle. On their website, you will find information about recycling, from the where to the how. They will help you find the nearest places to donate unwanted jewellery.

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Another organisation that will happily take your old accessories off of your hands is Recycling for Good Causes. They accept old jewellery and watches via post.

The online organisation offers two hassle-free options for the items you wish to recycle. One is ‘self-pack,’ which, for a few small items, you can fit into an A5 envelope, but if you’re donating large amounts of items, then their Recycling Project is for you.

For their Recycling Project option, they will send you a sack to put your items in, which must only be around 10-30kg. Once you’ve packed all your old jewellery, just give them a call, and they’ll pick it up for you. All of this is free of charge, by the way.

woman wears chanel jewellery and sunglasses

If you want to get more involved, Recycling For Good Causes can also raise funds on your behalf for a charity or good cause of your choice. All the proceeds from your recycled jewellery will be sent to your chosen charity or good cause.

Click here to learn more about their donation options.

Can I resell my old jewellery and watches?

Perhaps you want to resell your old jewellery and watches, which is a great idea if they’re still in good condition. You can sell them on websites like Vinted, eBay, and Depop, or you can try selling your old watches at jewellers or shops like Cash Converters.

Another option is passing on your old jewellery and watches on Freegle. Of course, you won’t get any money out of it, but if you’re just looking to declutter, this is also a good option.

All you need to do is sign up on their website, post about your item, and wait for people to take it off your hands.