Trading in a glittery bauble or a piece of family jewelry that had been floating around for a couple of generations for cold, hard cash used to be something that was considered an act of desperation. Women—and men—simply didn't part with their jewelry, even if it was a hand-me-down piece from an aunt that didn't fit their style or a watch they'd long retired in favor of a newer or nicer one.

That's changed quite a bit in recent decades. Learn more about why you might want to consider digging through that box of unused trinkets and thinking about selling what you find.

Consider it part of your budget for a new piece.

If you were into the big trends back in the 1980s, for example, when chunky "nugget" jewelry was in fashion, you may have several pieces sitting around that are too dated to wear and worth more now than you paid for them, given the increase in prices of gold.

Other pieces of jewelry that hold or increase their value are designer pieces, especially some of the more limited-edition pieces that are signed and numbered or are hard to find. Designers like Kieselstein-Cord, for example, put out unique collections a little at a time. You may be holding on to the long-sought-after bracelet that someone needs to complete a set. If it was a gift that someone thought you would love but that just missed the mark, keeping the piece in a box doesn't do it any justice.

Trading in these types of pieces can finance a purchase of a new piece of jewelry that you will wear—and there's certainly no shame in that. 

Consider it a way to divvy up the items for your heirs.

Broaches used to be a big deal. Every woman owned a few and wore her best ones on her jackets to work or on her dresses to church. Even coats were adorned with them. However, as a general fashion trend, they've fallen out of style.

Similarly, cuff links and tie tacks aren't something that every man automatically adds to his attire these days. If you own a few sets, it's likely they were inherited rather than bought or that they were bought for a special occasion and haven't seen the light of day since.

Rather than passing these things down to the next generation to sit in another box—unused—consider trading them in for cash and dividing the cash up instead. This is also a great solution if you happen to have one very expensive piece of jewelry that you know could become a source of a family squabble after you're gone.

There are a lot of reasons these days to trade in your old, unworn jewelry for cash. Keep in mind, if you're considering this course, that the stigma of selling your jewelry has faded away quite a bit, especially when you're doing the selling with an eye toward a future purchase or just trying to tidy up your assets for your heirs. Talk to a company like Rhonda's Jewelry to get started comparing prices.