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Fairtrade and recycled gold: helping to protect the planet

Published Wednesday 5th October 2016

Recycled and Fairtrade gold are the most environmentally – and people – friendly types of the precious metal you can buy.

If you’re buying gold jewellery for yourself or as a gift, it’s likely that a fair proportion of it has been recycled from other items. The beauty of gold is that it can be melted down and turned into something new repeatedly, without losing any of its value or lustre.

The other way of wearing ethically sound gold jewellery is if you buy Fairtrade gold. Just like the better-known Fairtrade coffee or chocolate, in order to be labelled as Fairtrade, the metal has to be sourced responsibly and the miners have to receive a fair wage for their work.

During the first week of October, a delegation of Peruvian miners are in Britain to promote awareness of Fairtrade gold. They’ll be speaking at events in Leicester, Bangor in Wales and Chippenham.

The visitors will also be visiting a traditional Welsh gold mine and speaking at the 2016 UK Jewellery Conference.

Kevin McCullough, head of campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Gold: a symbol of love, power and wealth. Look behind the glitz, and the reality is not so glamorous. Gold mining is one of the most dangerous, precarious, and unfairly treated jobs in the world.

“Fairtrade gold stops exploitation. It can be traced from the mine through the refining process. This is backed up by documentation of all the transactions between miner and licensed jewellers. It means consumers and jewellers know that fairtrade gold comes from a socially and environmentally responsible, source which has economic benefits for miners.”

Recycled gold also helps to protect the environment. Each time you sell your broken or unwanted gold jewellery, as well as receiving cash, you’re helping lessen the impact of the harmful chemicals involved in gold mining by supplying gold to meet the global demand for the precious metal.