Your Old Gold Jewelry is Worth More Than You Think (Even the Broken Stuff)

When was the last time you went through your jewelry box? Chances are good that you’ve got some old gold jewelry lying around that hasn’t seen the light of day in….who knows how long? From tangled gold chains and broken necklaces to outdated rings and single, “orphaned” earrings, your unwanted and damaged gold jewelry is doing little more than taking up space. So what if we told you that your old gold jewelry — yes, even the broken stuff — may actually be worth a surprising amount of money?

Interested in discovering the value of your unwanted gold jewelry? Here’s what you need to know.

What Makes My Old Gold Jewelry Valuable?

Gold jewelry is valued on the secondary market for one of two reasons. The majority of old gold jewelry is simply worth its weight in the current price of gold. “Melt-grade” gold jewelry includes:

  • Outdated gold jewelry
  • Broken gold jewelry
  • Incomplete gold jewelry sets, such as single earrings
  • Class rings
  • “Ex”-Jewelry

These items are ultimately melted down and reused to form something new.

On the other hand, certain gold jewelry items have what is called “intrinsic value.” These items fetch higher prices than “melt-grade” jewelry because they can be sold in their current form. Gold jewelry that has intrinsic value is usually either:

  • Well-preserved vintage gold jewelry, including Victorian and Art Deco pieces
  • Unique statement pieces, especially those containing diamonds and other semi-precious gems
  • Custom-made pieces featuring exceptional craftsmanship
  • Gold jewelry from an exclusive set of luxury brands, including:
    • Tiffany
    • David Yurmin
    • Cartier
    • Van Cleef & Arpels
    • Buccellati
    • David Webb
    • Bvlgari

Why JewelRecycle Pays More For Your Gold Jewelry

Many people are unclear about where to sell gold jewelry. At JewelRecycle, we buy the full range of gold jewelry, from broken gold chains and single gold earrings to diamond engagement rings and fine gold jewelry from luxury brands. (We also buy platinum and palladium jewelry, as well as silver jewelry — paying especially well for Native American jewelry and luxury brands such as those listed above.)

There are many gold buyers out there. But JewelRecycle’s unique, high-tech process enables us to consistently make higher, more accurate offers on your old gold jewelry.

Why is that?

The first reason has to do with our expertise. The entire JewelRecycle staff is highly trained, with many of us coming from a fine jewelry background. We are experts at identifying which jewelry items can be resold and which are “melt grade.”

The second reason we pay more than our competitors is our high-tech process. Unlike most other gold buyers, we use X-Ray fluorescence technology to calculate the exact composition of your items in order to make you a transparent, no-pressure offer. In comparison, the average gold buyer uses a scratch stone and acid — a far less accurate way to determine your gold jewelry’s composition.

So how does this impact the offers you might get when you sell your gold jewelry? Consider this: 14k gold jewelry made before the 1980s is technically supposed to contain 58.3% gold. In reality, though, it may contain anywhere from 53-58.3% gold. The average gold buyer can’t ascertain the exact composition of your items. They may be about 90% accurate in their assessments. In order to buffer for that uncertainty, they assume all pre-1980s 14k gold has an average gold composition, typically around 55%. Which means that if your gold item actually contains 58.3%, you get shorted.

Our nondestructive X-Ray fluorescence technology allows us to be much more accurate, typically between 99% and 100%. Which means that you get paid the full value of your gold jewelry’s worth — every time.

Ready to Sell Your Old Gold Jewelry? Here’s What to Do Next

If you’re ready to sell your old gold jewelry, simply bring it into one of our four storefronts located conveniently throughout North Carolina.

You don’t need to go to the trouble of repairing, untangling, or cleaning your gold jewelry before you bring it in (even if it’s a Tiffany) — you can leave that to us.

Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will assess your items right in front of you and explain what they are doing each step of the way. If your gold jewelry contains diamonds, we’ll assess the value of your diamonds and calculate a separate offer). Whether your item has intrinsic value or melt value, we will make you a real-time, pressure-free offer. If you decide to sell your items to JewelRecycle, we’ll pay you on the spot. Note that we are taking special precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read up on our current process here.

Come find out what so many of our customers already know: your old gold jewelry is likely worth more than you think.

Whether you are decluttering or downsizing, one thing is certain: That gold watch tucked in the back corner of your dresser is doing little more than taking up space. You haven’t worn it for years, and it’s definitely not sparking joy. By now you’re probably wondering whether you can sell it. And that begs the next question: “What’s my watch worth?”

The truth is, the value of pre-owned watches varies widely depending on the brand and precious metal content. As you’ll see, your watch’s true value just might surprise you.

What is My Pre-Owned Watch Worth?

You’ve probably heard a story about someone who bought a Rolex watch for several hundred dollars, wore it for years, and then sold it at an enormous profit twenty years later. That’s certainly the best-case scenario when it comes to selling your pre-owned watch. But it’s not an everyday occurrence. You see, there are many different kinds of watches, but only a select few brands (like Rolex) and watches made of precious metals really have any appreciable resale value.

At JewelRecycle, we divide watches into the following categories.

Fine Watches

Fine watches are watches that are both well-made and well-regarded. The worth of fine watches is derived from the value of the brand rather than the actual materials used in the watches themselves. Many fine watches don’t even contain any precious metals. In fact, they are likely to be made of stainless steel. Nevertheless, the worth of fine watches (including the brands below) often far outstrips that of less prestigious watches that do contain gold and other precious metals.

Only a select set of brands can really be considered fine watches. These include:

  • Breitling
  • Breguet
  • Cartier
  • International Watch Company (IWC)
  • Jaeger LeCoultre
  • Patek Philippe
  • Rolex
  • Tag Heuer
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Vacheron Constantin

Watches made by any of the above brands tend to hold their value — and may even go up in value over time.

Within the fine watch category, men’s watches are far more collectible than women’s watches. This is partly because women’s watch fashions change more dramatically over time. In addition, men are more interested in collecting vintage watches, whereas women tend to buy new in the fine watch category. To illustrate the point, let’s say you and your spouse bought matching “his and hers” Rolex Oyster watches a decade ago. If you go to resell them now, you’ll likely find that the “hers” watch is worth only hundred dollars, whereas the “his” watch may be worth several thousand.

What's my watch worth?

Fashion Watches

Fashion watches are watches made by high-end fashion brands such as Michael Kors and Gucci. Because these watches are so expensive in the retail market, many owners expect that they will fetch a relatively high price on the used watch market. The unfortunate reality is that fashion watches hold very little value — so little that not even pawn shops will typically buy them for much.

At JewelRecycle, we only buy fashion watches for their precious metal value (assuming they contain any). For example, brands such as Bulova, Geneve, and Citizen have historically produced fashion watches made of gold and other precious metals. These watches no longer have collectible value, as in the fine watch category. And that means they are simply worth their weight in gold, silver, or platinum.

Ordinary Watches

So-called “ordinary watches” are watches made by more common brands like Timex and Fossil. These watches aren’t particularly expensive when purchased new. As such, they are literally worth their weight in precious metals — nothing more. If they aren’t made with gold or another precious metal, these watches don’t have any appreciable value on the secondary market.

Pocket Watches

We don’t have to tell you that pocket watches are no longer in fashion. There are a select few collectible pocket watch brands that are worth more than their weight in gold. But most pocket watches are simply worth their precious metal value.

However, because pocket watches tend to be larger and heavier than wrist watches, some old pocket watches do have significant resale value thanks to their gold and other precious metal content. If you have an old or inherited pocket watch you no longer want, it’s quite possible that its present-day resale value will pleasantly surprise you. Keep in mind, though, that many pocket watches are gold-filled. As a result, they have little to no precious metal value.

Ready to Sell Your Fine Watch?

If you are interested in discovering the real value of your fine watch, JewelRecycle’s knowledgeable staff is ready to help. Bring in your fine watch as well as any original packaging and paperwork. Our in-house watch experts will inspect your item and make a competitive offer.

If you have a fashion watch, ordinary watch, or pocket watch you want to sell, and you aren’t sure whether it is made of gold or another material, simply bring it to us for inspection. We’ll use our nondestructive X-Ray fluorescence technology to determine the exact purity of your item and give you an estimate of the watch’s value. We will then take the watch apart in front of you and weigh the gold or platinum parts to come up with a final offer.

Want to learn more about JewelRecycle’s processGive us a call or simply come into one of our four locations — no appointment necessary.

Coin collecting was once a popular pastime. These days, however, even the most robust coin collections are more likely to collect, well, dust than anything else. Whether you are a “retired” coin collector or inherited a relative’s collection, chances are you no longer want or need your untended coin collection. If that’s true, you may be wondering about how to sell your old coins.

Read on to learn more about what makes coins valuable — and what you should do if you want to sell your collection.

What Makes Coins Valuable?

The vast majority of coins are simply worth their weight in gold or (less commonly) silver. However, when a coin is collectible, it has numismatic value, which means that it has worth over and above its precious metal value. The precise value of a collectible coin is determined by the following factors:

  • Coin type, year, mint mark, and mintage. Some types of coins are more valuable than others. This depends on where they were minted, when they were produced, and their mintage (the total number of a certain kind of coins produced at a particular location during a given year). Certain coins from particular years and mintages are more valuable than others — sometimes by a long shot.
  • Condition. Coin condition ranges from uncirculated mint state to so worn out that you can’t read the date or mint mark. To be rated as mint state, a coin must be as perfect as if it just came off the press. It should have no flaws in the way it was struck and no post-production blemishes, either. Dents, scratches, blemishes, wear, dullness, and other imperfections all serve to degrade a coin’s condition — and value.
  • Scarcity. The rarer a coin is, the more it may be valued (though this isn’t always the case, as you’ll see below). For example, the rarest of all collectible pennies, the 1909 SVDB penny, may be worth thousands.
  • Demand. In order for a coin to have numismatic value, it must be in demand. Not all rare coins are in demand. For example, so-called “large cents” are low mintage, but few people collect them, so they still aren’t worth much. On the other hand, Morgan silver dollars (produced from 1878 to 1921), twenty dollar gold pieces, and pre-1933 US gold coins are generally more valuable than quarters, nickels, and dimes of any vintage.

Should I Sell or Save My Old Coins with Numismatic Value?

Unfortunately, as the “king of hobbies” becomes less and less popular, the value of collectible coins is steadily degrading. That means the value of collectible coins is unlikely to go up anytime soon. From an investment standpoint, it doesn’t make sense to hang onto your collectible coins in the hopes that they will someday fetch a higher price. The truth is that the price your numismatic coins fetch today is probably the best you will get, now or in the future.

You might be surprised to learn that coins without numismatic value are actually more likely to hold or gain value over time. The truth is that precious metal prices are more likely to remain steady — or rise — than even the most in-demand numismatic coins.

How to Sell Your Old Coins

Use the following tips if you’ve decided to sell your coin collection.

  • Don’t try to calculate your coin’s value online. While you may be able to get a rough idea of a particular coin’s value based on year and mintage, only an in-person inspection can reveal the true value of any individual coin. There are many subtle differences that affect a coin’s grade and condition. These small differences can have a huge impact on a coin’s value.
  • Touch your coins as little as possible. If your coin collection is stored in a booklet or in individual sleeves, do not remove the coins before bringing them in for evaluation. Touching and handling coins improperly can quickly damage their condition — and degrade their value. You should avoid holding the coins in your hands, rubbing them together, or wiping them with a cloth or paper towel. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to clean your coins. A seasoned coin expert can tell the difference between a properly preserved coin and one that has been cleaned. Attempts to clean your coins will only harm their value. Ironically, if your coins are dirty, they are probably worth more in that condition than they would be cleaned up.
  • Preserve all notes and packaging that came with your coins. These documents may add to the value of your collection.
  • Don’t mail your collection to an unknown coin dealer. If you do, you risk falling prey to fraud. Whatever you do, plan to sell your coins in person and locally. Make sure to go to a reputable dealer with a high BBB Rating and excellent online reviews. The more knowledgeable your buyer is about coins, the better.

Which Coins Does JewelRecycle Buy?

At JewelRecycle, we are pleased to buy gold, silver, platinum, and palladium coins and bullion, as well as numismatic coins. For a full list of the coins we purchase, check out the coins page on our website.

Note, however, that we do not buy “loose change” coin collections from international travel, unless those coins are made of gold. Most coins in these collections are made of low-value metals such as copper, nickel, and zinc.

How We Calculate the Value of Your Coins and Make an Offer

When you bring your full or partial coin collection to JewelRecycle, our highly trained staff will start by assessing your coins right in front of you.

Our first step is to screen your coin collection for coins that are still considered collectible and have numismatic value. We then closely evaluate those coins to determine their worth.

Next, we take the coins that are worth their metal value and put them through our usual process. First, we use our non-destructive X-Ray fluorescence technology to determine their exact purity. Second, we weigh the coins to identify their precise weight. Finally, we make you an offer based on the current price of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium.

Ready to find out what your coins are really worth? Come into one of our four JewelRecycle locations and let us make you an offer.

    October 21, 2020
    How JewelRecycle Helps Prevent Theft and Supports Public Safety

    Unfortunately, theft is a problem that troubles most every community from time to time. And every gold buyer and pawn shop must occasionally contend with the problem firsthand when thieves attempt to sell stolen items. The sad truth? Many gold buyers and pawn shops earn their poor reputations by ...

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    July 02, 2020
    Ready to Sell Your Inherited Silver Items? Here’s What to Expect.

    In generations past, families considered their “silver” collections to be an important status symbol — as well as a cherished family heirloom. They lovingly polished their silver candlesticks, holloware, tea sets, and flatware and presented them on special occasions, such as holiday gatherings an...

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    April 30, 2020
    What’s My Watch Worth? Assessing a Fair Value

    Whether you are decluttering or downsizing, one thing is certain: That gold watch tucked in the back corner of your dresser is doing little more than taking up space. You haven’t worn it for years, and it’s definitely not sparking joy. By now you’re probably wondering whether you can sell it. And...

    Read More
    April 02, 2020
    Ready to Sell Your Coin Collection? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Coin collecting was once a popular pastime. These days, however, even the most robust coin collections are more likely to collect, well, dust than anything else. Whether you are a “retired” coin collector or inherited a relative’s collection, chances are you no longer want or need your untended c...

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JewelRecycle, LLC is a BBB Accredited Jewelry Buyer in Chapel Hill, NC
In Pursuit of Ethics

What Our Customers Say

Happy Repeat Customer--A Great Place to Call Home!
09/16/2017 by Margaret W.
A few days ago, on September 12, I stopped by for my second visit. I tend to be verbose. Now, I'm nearly speechless because, actually, how does one improve upon near perfection? I used the 'Home' metaphor because one can relax at home; it's a place of trust and comfort...that's what JewelRecycle represents to me.
Highly Recommend!!
02/07/2024 by Judi Sunshine
Jayne Ann and Blanca are the absolute best! This was my second time going there and they are very professional, take their time and give you the best service. Thank you both for being such a delight to deal with! Will definitely be recommending them to anyone who wants to sell their jewelry.
Excellent service!
02/04/2024 by Patricia High
Very thorough and knowledgeable! There was no waiting and was met by a friendly staff. Experience could not have been any better ☺️
Gave me MORE than I had expected!
01/24/2024 by Chuck K.
This place is great, went there to sell scrap gold and silver and they gave me MORE than I had expected! Very professional and give true value. Not the friendliest people but they’re all business. I will go back!
Friendly, Knowledgeable
09/21/2019 by Joy C.
Cheryl was friendly, knowledgeable, and took time to evaluate my items and explain my options. Based on my experience today, I would recommend JewelRecycle!
Got More Than I Expected
02/07/2019 by Joel W.
Took in a bunch of dinnerware that I thought was likely junk and ended up getting way more than I expected to get. Highly recommended!

Our Locations

Saltbox Village

1259-A Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC 27511

Monday-Saturday, 10:00-6:00
Sunday, Closed


Next to Trader Joe's

Holly Park Shopping Center
3072 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27609

Monday-Saturday, 10:00-6:00
Sunday, Closed


University Place

(Outside mall between AT&T and Aveda facing Harris Teeter)
201 S. Estes Drive. Suite 200C.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Due to mall construction you must enter the parking lot into the back of the mall facing Harris Teeter either via Willow Drive or Fordham Boulevard. Do not enter off of Estes Drive as access is not possible. Parking is very limited. We have two designated spots in front of our store. Look for the signs marked JewelRecycle Client Parking. Thanks for your patience.

Monday-Saturday, 10:00-6:00
Sunday, Closed


The Forum

1113 Military Cutoff Rd.
Suite D
Wilmington, NC 28405

Monday-Friday, 10:00-6:00
Saturday, 10:00-2:00
Sunday, Closed

Gold recently set a record high price