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Why more people are recycling gold jewellery than silver pieces

Published Wednesday 27th July 2016

There is a major difference between how much gold and silver recycled jewellery is coming on to the market to be used again, according to a new analysis.

Around 551 tonnes of silver jewellery was bought up to be used again worldwide last year, figures from the Metals Focus: Silver Scrap Repot revealed. But that’s just a drop in the ocean when it comes to the annual demand of 7,045 tonnes to turn into new silver jewellery.

Such straightforward comparisons are not available for how much old and unwanted gold jewellery is sold to be reused, because the figures for recycled gold also include gold bullion bars and coins that have been melted down to use again.

But Silver Seek estimates that around 1,000 tonnes of gold jewellery was recycled last year – less than half of the 2,415 tonnes demanded by jewellers to make new items in 2015. The report said the main reason there was such a difference between gold and silver recycling rates was that better prices that can be obtained for selling on old, broken and unwanted gold jewellery compared to the sale of unwanted silver pieces.

Selling on the old gold jewellery that you no longer wear, or pieces that are lying broken and unused at the back of a drawer or in a box makes good sense at the moment.

As well as helping meet some of the huge worldwide demand for gold to be converted into new pieces, the precious metal is continuing to attract strong values. Gold has been enjoying high prices this year thanks to worldwide political uncertainty.

That means you are able to obtain top dollar – or pounds per troy ounce of gold – when you decide to convert your unwanted pieces into cash.