India is experiencing a boom in gold recycling.
The country, which has been encouraging people to recycle to cut the high prices of importing gold, has seen the amount of the precious metal being recycled since January rise by as much as 50 per cent in some of its medium sized cities.
India is the world's second biggest gold importer after China and has a high demand for gold jewellery, which is traditionally given as a wedding gift. It's estimated, however, that up to 25,000 tonnes of gold is stored away in homes and temples.
The boom in recycling comes as the price of gold in India has risen by more than six per cent since the start of the year, encouraging people to cash in their old pieces or swap them for new ones during the wedding season.
Nitin Khandelwal, chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation, told the Economic Times: 'People living in smaller towns are recycling gold to meet the household demand. In these areas, the digital transaction facilities are not adequate to help them purchase gold. Most of them are not used to such transactions. And they do not want to give away the cash in hand. All these factors are forcing them to recycle old gold.'
It's estimated that demand for gold during wedding season will reach around 400 tonnes. Last year, 675 tonnes were imported to meet it. But overall, because of government efforts to reduce imports, the amount of gold brought into India during 2016 fell by 47 per cent compared to 2015.
Recycling your own unwanted or broken gold is a great way to raise cash, whether you are buying wedding gifts or just want some extra money to treat yourself. With the current high prices, it's an excellent time to get the most value from your unwanted items.
They go by many names eco-friendly, ethical or just plain recycled but wedding rings made from repurposed gold are becoming a key trend for couples who care about the planet.
Committing to a ring made from recycled gold is becoming important to people who are concerned about the social and environmental damage that gold mining can be responsible for, from the labour used to extract the precious metal to the harmful chemicals used in the processing.
With Valentine's Day just past and wedding season approaching, it's a subject that will be on many brides minds as they organise their big day. Choosing recycled gold to symbolise the endless union in the shape of the wedding ring is a popular choice.
The gold that we recycle goes into making new jewellery, bars and coins. The beauty of gold as a metal is that no one can tell whether an item has been made from reused gold or virgin metal. Gold has properties that allow it to be used repeatedly without it losing its lustre.
Unless you specifically sought out new gold or recycled gold for your own wedding ring, there's no way or telling whether your item is made from old or new gold.
The growing demand means that we need to collect more of your unwanted gold to help meet the needs of the market. It's worth checking out whether you have any broken, unwanted or unfashionable pieces that can be turned into something new.
It's also a great time to think about recycling your old chains, rings, earrings and pendants because the gold price has remained strong, so you're well placed to get the best returns.
Remember, the price you'll receive is based on the 'scrap gold' price, because this takes into account the additional processing work required to return gold to the state where it can be used again to create beautiful new pieces.
People in Japan are being asked to donate their old mobile phones and tablets to provide the metal needed to make the medals for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The collections will start in April with an ambitious target of collecting eight tonnes each of gold, silver and bronze to be converted into 5,000 medals for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in three years time.
It's not the first time that recycled gold has been stripped to use in medals; around 30 per cent of the metal used in the medals at last year's Rio Games was recycled. However, this is the first time that organisers have made a commitment to source all of the metal needed for the medals in this way. Special collection points are being set up at more than 2,000 shops where people can leave old phones, digital cameras, games units, tablets and laptops to be stripped of the gold, silver and copper in their circuitry.
Tokyo 2020 sports director Koji Murofushi said: "A project that allows the people of Japan to take part in creating the medals is really good. There's a limit on the resources of our earth, so recycling these things will make us think about the environment."
The idea is both to become more sustainable and to cut costs. Traditionally, mining companies donate towards the medals but Japan does not have its own precious metals mines.
We may not be offering you the chance to turn your old and unwanted gold and silver jewellery into an Olympic medal, but we are offering you something more substantive a cash return. And with gold prices continuing to perform well, the scrap metal price that you receive will reflect that too.
So be inspired by the recyclers of Japan and seek out any old, broken or unwanted gold jewellery that you may have tucked away and convert it into something new.
More gold can be obtained from recycling electronic waste than from mining, according to the man behind a planned huge new recycling centre in the Middle East.
The new centre for old electronic equipment will be opening in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which generates some of the highest levels of e-waste in the Middle East.
Nitin Gupta, chief executive of Attero Recycling India, which will set up the plant, told The National: "More gold can be derived from e-waste than mining ore.”
The gold, which will go back into the creation of new equipment, will be stripped from old devices such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Silver and copper are also among the lucrative metals to be found in the equipment which can be harvested for continued use.
India is the world’s second biggest gold importer after China and is leading the way in recycling. As well as obtaining the precious metal from old electronic equipment, there is a major drive to recycle old jewellery and temple gold, to reduce the cost of importing the metal into the country.
The Indian government's push for more recycling is paying dividends. According to the newly published annual GFMS report by Reuters, the amount of gold recycled worldwide in 2016 jumped by 10 per cent year on year, while the amount obtained from mining dipped by 1.5 per cent.
Of course, there are much easier ways of recycling gold than the painstaking work of removing and melting down gold wires from electronic equipment. Most homes have old, broken or unwanted gold jewellery which can be recycled for cash.
It’s worth checking through your jewellery box or searching through old drawers for pieces you no longer want, because the current good gold prices mean you can earn a decent return for something that has been lying idle.
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