We all have our favorite body jewelry pieces, but sometimes they need to be retired to buy new ones. Some get broken while the others just don’t fit our style anymore. Another common reason for retiring your jewelry is stretching. Once you have stretched to a larger gauge, you won’t be able to wear your old jewelry anymore.
This may leave you with tons of old jewelry you don’t use anymore. You may wonder what to do with it. It’s understandable that you don’t want to just leave it to collect dust, so what can you do?
The first thing you may think about is to simply re-use your old jewelry, give it to someone or even re-sell it. Also, you may be the one wanting to wear someone else’s old jewelry or even buy it. After all, if it’s properly cleaned, then there’s no risk, right?
Not quite. It’s important to know that old jewelry, even if it looks “as good as new” is never risk-free. Re-using or re-selling previously worn jewelry is not the best practice and can usually bring more harm than good. It’s much better to go with new, quality body jewelry.
If you really want to find some use for your old jewelry, it would be best to simply recycle it or use it for an art project instead of giving it to someone else to wear.
The Dangers of Used Body Jewelry
As you probably know, used jewelry is not always sanitary to wear. This is particularly true for used body jewelry, because it goes inside a person’s body. It gets in touch with body fluids and flesh, so it’s worse than using someone else’s toothbrush. Even more, some body jewelry is worn in very intimate places (nipples, genitalia, etc.) This is even more risky. It’s clear that simply using someone else’s old jewelry – or giving away your old jewelry – is not the best idea.
But what if I clean it, you say?
Sanitizing and sterilizing old jewelry is a must if you want to kill bacteria and other harmful agents. The thing is, it’s easier said than done. It’s actually pretty difficult to clean your old jewelry. Simply wiping it with alcohol or another cleaner won’t do it. To be properly sterilized, jewelry has to be treated in an autoclave.
Autoclaves are not something you can find in any home and most of the time, you will have to take your jewelry to a professional to clean it properly, which costs some money. However, don’t think that this is all you need to do to make your jewelry re-usable.
Re-using Sterilized Jewelry
An autoclave should be used to sterilize used jewelry. It is the only way to clean jewelry properly. However, even though autoclave can be used to sterilize jewelry, it’s still not a good idea to re-use or re-sell your used jewelry.
Why? Here’s the problem: even the fully sanitized used jewelry will still have the tiny scratches and nicks on the surface. Even jewelry made of high-quality material will have some scratches. Most of the time, you won’t be able to see them, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.
The trouble with these microscopic scratches is that they can harbor bacteria. It means they can quickly become unsanitary and cause infections and numerous other problems for the wearer. This is why used jewelry is never “as good as new”, even if it’s properly sanitized and sterilized.
It is considered a bad practice – and it’s even illegal in many places – to sell re-used jewelry, especially if you don’t inform your customers about what they’re buying. Used jewelry is never new jewelry, even if it’s “gently worn” or “barely used”. Even if someone decided to wear a jewelry piece only once, it’s used jewelry and has to be treated as such.
Remember: autoclave is the only way to sanitize your jewelry properly, but that’s not all. You can never be sure about those tiny scratched and marks that can harbor bacteria.
So, what to do?
If you want to re-use or buy used jewelry, the choice is all yours. You need to know about the risks associated with used jewelry, so if you are ready to take that risk, it’s your decision. Keep in mind, however, that in most of the cases, it’s just not worth it.
There are so many new jewelry pieces you can get at affordable prices today, so why would you buy used jewelry? There are many different straight barbells, wonderful curved barbells for belly piercings, numerous different ear plug and flesh tunnel styles, fancy nipple jewelry pieces, cute nose bones, and many other jewelry types to choose from. So why would you risk a used jewelry piece when you can get a brand new jewelry piece for an affordable price?
Sometimes, in special circumstances, you might want to go with used jewelry. For example, if a jewelry piece is in the family and has a huge sentimental value. In this case, you might think about getting it autoclaved by professionals and wearing it. However, these are really special circumstances you won’t encounter most of the time.
So, what to do? If you really want to find a new use for your old jewelry, there are other options. You don’t have to re-use it as jewelry. Ask around for various recycling programs or companies who might want to buy old jewelry (typically gold) to melt it down. You may receive cash on the spot, so this may be a good investment, if you don’t mind your jewelry being melted down and recycled. The trouble is, this method works mostly for gold and silver jewelry; Surgical Steel, Titanium and other materials may be more difficult to sell.
Another thing you can do is to re-use your old jewelry in a new way. Make a project and turn it into something else. For example, you may take a decorative part of larger jewelry pieces and use them as new ornaments (hair pins, decorations, etc.) You may use smaller jewelry pieces to make costumes or new ornaments for your clothes. The only limit is your imagination!
This way, you will get to keep your jewelry without risking anyone’s health. Just don’t forget to sanitize it first! Take it to a professional to be autoclaved and then you can use it for your new and exciting projects!
Re-used jewelry may sound tempting, but you should think twice before you decide to use it or re-sell it. Keep in mind that re-using jewelry is not the best practice, especially since you can find new jewelry pieces at very affordable prices. Even worse is to re-sell your jewelry: you will never know if it’s properly sanitized and scratch-free.
Remember: the only way to properly sanitize your jewelry is with autoclave, and chances are that you don’t have it at home. So it needs to be done by a professional, which costs money. Also, even properly sanitized used jewelry has little scratches and marks that can harbor bacteria.
There’s just too much risk associated with used jewelry. Since there are many gorgeous new jewelry pieces you can get at affordable prices, it’s best to always go with new jewelry bought at a reliable store.
This is why it’s much better to re-use your old jewelry in different ways. If you really want to get some cash, you can try selling your old jewelry to be melted. Alternatively, if you truly want to use your old jewelry again, turn it into an exciting project and use it in a new and different way. This will allow you to keep all those beautiful jewelry pieces without compromising anyone’s health.