04/20/2012 01:51 pm ET Updated Jun 19, 2012

Earth Day 2012: Reuse, Recycle, Resell... Your Diamonds?

This year, April 22nd marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day, a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment. This is the day to acknowledge your own eco-friendly nature and become more eco-conscious by remembering to recycle and give back to the environment in any way you can.

Recycling, however, doesn't ONLY mean ltaking out the trash and sorting the newspapers and plastic bottles out. Generally speaking, to recycle means to reuse, salvage, save and restart -- and there is more than one way we can do this... and one way is with your jewelry.

First things first, you can donate your old jewelry instead of trashing it. Donating your jewelry is the perfect way to not only support a charitable organization of your choice that helps others, but it also allows someone to purchase jewelry at a price they normally couldn't afford. There are many charity groups that collect jewelry, so you can start by looking into these in your area and your donations can help benefit your community. And don't forget that when you donate, you'll also get a receipt for tax deductions.

Another way to recycle your jewelry is to melt it down. This process allows you to melt down your precious metals that you no longer need or want and turn them into something you have always desired. It can also allow you to become quite the jewelry designer at the same time, creating your own unique piece of jewelry. However, if it's cash you want and not the jewelry, melting allows for this as well. Many times you can receive a pretty respectable amount of cash from the sale of your melted down metals.

And lastly, for newlyweds and couples who could be tying the knot soon, here's a way for you to pitch in: recycle your old jewelry and in exchange, buy your diamonds from others who are recycling theirs. Rather than going out and buying new, you can opt for the "greener" choice and help save the planet by reusing and reselling your unwanted diamonds so that another diamond does not need to be mined. After all, we all know that mining diamonds can be pretty harmful to the planet. Plus, you will be adding some more sparkle to the world by unloading your unused dusty diamonds and letting them shine back on the market for potential buyers.

So, whether you've just gotten hitched and want to get rid of your old jewelry from past relationships or perhaps you and your husband want to upgrade your engagement ring -- take a moment to go through your jewelry box this month and recycle. Not only will you profit from your old bling, but you can also donate a share of what you get back, to an earthly cause of your own on this green holiday.

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