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What happens when you sell your unwanted gold for recycling?

Published Thursday 18th August 2016

When we receive your unwanted or broken gold jewellery for recycling, it’s just the start of a journey to create new gold items.

The first step is to discover the value of the gold in the pieces. They are sorted into different carats – the higher the carat number, the more valuable the gold – and weighed. This is how the price we pay you for your items is decided, based on the up-to-the-minute scrap gold price per troy ounce.

When the gold pieces have been sorted, it’s time to smelt them. When the gold is placed in a furnace at a very high heat, it melts and can be cooled down in blocks or ingots, ready to be sold on for reuse. 
The beauty of gold is that it can be reused time and time again without losing any of its properties and therefore its value. It’s likely that modern gold jewellery pieces that you cherish contain gold that has gone through this process – and the precious metal itself may have actually been mined decades, if not centuries ago.

Recycling your gold isn’t just good for your bank account, it’s also good news for the environment. It’s been calculated that for every gold ring made from freshly-mined metal, around 20 tonnes of toxic waste is generated, because of the chemicals that are used in the gold mining industry.

Currently, around a third of the gold that is needed every year comes from recycled supplies – whether that is to make new jewellery, gold bars, ingots and coins for investors, or for use in technology such as smartphones and laptops

By hunting through your unwanted gold items at home and selling them on for cash, you’ll be playing your part in increasing the proportion of ‘old’ gold that’s available to use again – and helping the environment at the same time.