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Recycled gold grows in popularity with ethical shoppers

Published Wednesday 24th August 2016

When you convert your old, broken and unwanted gold jewellery into cash, you’re also going a long way to helping other people reach their dreams.

Dozens of British jewellers now have ethical gold policies and they are becoming increasingly important to brides and grooms. There is a growth in demand for wedding bands that have been made with gold that hasn’t harmed the environment during the mining process or hasn’t come from conflict zones.

In many cases, when people are buying new jewellery, they don’t know where the precious metal it contains came from. It could be a mixture of newly mined gold, off-cuts from other items made in the workshop or recycled gold made from old jewellery.

However, you can check with jewellers whether they have a policy to use recycled gold and indeed, many promote the fact they do to attract eco-conscious shoppers. In addition to recycled gold, some now offer Fairtrade gold, a certification which was introduced in 2011, which guarantees that the metal has been mined responsibly by artisan workers. This is generally a more expensive option, though, and you are likely to pay a premium on top of the price of your jewellery.

One of gold’s many benefits is that it can be repeatedly recycled without ever losing any of its quality and value. The old chains, rings and earrings that you send in to be recycled may themselves have been made from gold that was something else in a previous life. There is no telling how many times a piece has been melted down and turned into something new.

It’s fascinating to think that the old gold jewellery you’re planning to recycle may have been through so many incarnations before it was crafted into the piece you’re now selling. And it’s just as interesting to wonder where it may now end up as its continues its story.