“To refine silver or gold is a beautiful thing. Under immense heat and pressure, the metal is brought to its purest state whilst its journey there sees a burst of beautifully vivid colours…”
With the launch of the new collection, I’m sure many of you are asking, “What is recycled gold or silver anyway?”. Let’s discuss!
In the study of metals, refining is the process where a metal is purified. Depending on it’s present state, for gold or silver to be recycled, it oftentimes needs to be melted down until it reaches it’s purest form. During this process, refiner’s are able to remove impurities and other mixed metals from the silver or gold, revealing the metal’s true form. The process of refining can be used on unused jewellery, metals in electronics and scrap metals. Once in it’s purest form, the metal can then be reused or repurposed. Then can the metal be declared as recycled.
THE EFFECTS OF MINING:
As of today, mining for metal has had traumatic effects to our planet. These effects include erosion by the constant movement of large amounts of land, the use of cyanide used to extract gold from it’s ore, and the destruction to agriculture.
Fair-mined or fair-trade gold offers an assurance that the gold mined is from empowered, responsible, artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. Essentially, it transforms mining into a force for good by providing opportunities for social development and environmental protection. Fair-mined provides a better alternative to sourcing regular gold (especially where recycled options can be difficult to come by) rather than from unlicensed/illegal mines. However, there is still a fine balance between the effects of mining and providing such opportunities. The debate continues.
SOURCING + SUPPLIERS:
As a jeweller, I am lucky enough to be able to source and work with suppliers and metal casters who are certified to sell recycled gold and silver, however there is still a gap in the market to provide recycled components such as chains, clasps and findings. To ensure no metal does not go to waste, I keep and reuse any scrap metal in my studio. With the launch of this new collection, my hope in time is to fully transition into solely using recycled and sustainable materials and working with suppliers who fully meet the gap.