Does Recycled Gold Jewelry Offer a Sustainable Solution?

Environmental responsibility is a topic of growing importance all over the world, as large corporations and consumers alike struggle with the ramifications of fast fashion practices.

The jewelry industry is of course one of the biggest offenders when it comes to environmental impact, yet the demand for high-quality gemstones and metals are just as high as ever. Recycled gold jewelry that is created using materials that are already in circulation may be one way to potentially reduce the demand for these raw materials, but is this truly a long-term solution?

What is Recycled Gold?

As an eco-friendly way of ethically sourcing important materials for use in certain products, recycling can vary in effectiveness. Years ago, there was this massive push for recycling as an answer that would solve the problem of our steadily growing landfills and seemingly absolve us from the aftereffects of aggressive consumerism.

In recent years, the lofty ideals behind recycling have somewhat waned, as the reality of what can and cannot be recycled has come into clearer focus. While the use of recycled materials does play an important role in helping to mitigate demand for new materials, the mileage we receive differs substantially from industry to industry.

However, it would seem that the fashion industry can benefit from this method of responsible sourcing quite a bit, compared to other industries where there are clear limitations as to what can and cannot be recycled or repurposed. This is especially true with recycled precious metals for use in eco-friendly jewelry pieces.

Gold can apparently be recycled without incurring a significant loss in quality, as it simply has to be melted down and reused to suit one’s purpose. There is actually quite a bit of misinformation about renewable gold in terms of whether or not it is “real” or not. Suffice it to say, recycled gold is indeed real gold, and depending on the quality of the original gold pieces and the particular refinement processes involved, recycled gold jewelry can be just as high in quality and beauty as any other.

This is a point worth emphasizing because the phrase “recycled” often conjures images of low grade plastics and paper made from recycled materials. This is not the same thing. Gold is a precious metal that needs to be mined from the ground and then melted down in order to be used. The recycling process here simply takes pieces of jewelry that have already been made from gold, as well as other items such as components found in circuit boards, and melts them down once again in order to utilize this metal in a different way.

As a potentially sustainable solution, recycled gold is making an impact on the industry, as jewelry brands look for viable ways to offer quality jewelry that’s just as beautiful and functional as anything else on the market without contributing to the ongoing climate crisis. While it’s by no means an airtight solution, these ethical jewelry pieces are a clear step in the right direction.

Brands That Specialize in Recycled Gold Jewelry

From stunning recycled gold rings to trendy sustainable necklaces, several brands that we feature here at ourCommonplace are making strides toward a more conscious and ethically driven jewelry industry.

These brands are proving that fine jewelry doesn’t have to come at a cost of environmental decay and degradation. On the contrary, there are plenty of thoughtful ways of obtaining the necessary materials in order to create inspiring jewelry pieces and a wide range of other high-quality products as well.

One such ethical brand that specializes in recycled gold jewelry is Futaba Hayashi. Her collection of mystical and radiant recycled jewelry pieces include 14K gold rings, earrings, and necklaces, sporting an array of trendy and refined designs.

Emphasizing minimalism and spiritual power, these solid gold jewelry pieces are an ideal example of how the jewelry industry is changing to cater to a more environmentally aware and holistically minded demographic. All of the gold and silver jewelry pieces in their collection are produced with recycled materials, making them an easy choice for those who want to support a more forward-thinking jewelry industry.

Another sustainable brand that we feature here in our marketplace is Pave The Way, as they offer a variety of fine jewelry pieces that utilize ethically sourced, conflict-free and sustainable materials. They're dedicated to connecting conscious consumerism and changemakers, by donating 100% of their profits to the charity of your choice.

As long as there is a high demand for new raw materials, there will be environmental consequences that we all have to deal with.

One other ethical jewelry brand we love is Costante. Their thoughtful collection of jewelry is also designed with high-quality eco-friendly materials, and features beautiful timeless pieces that are meant to celebrate the individuality of the wearer. These are jewelry pieces that offer a statement of empowerment for women who want to express themselves fully. Costante is a collective reflection of the community that surrounds her. 

The brands featured above, as well as many others, are doing their part to help circumvent the need for a constant influx of new metals and gemstones. They are also helping to better working conditions for artisans as well as sustainable supply chains that also offset some of the negative impact of the traditional fashion industry.

For those who are interested in supporting these sustainable jewelry brands, or for a closer look at their array of stunning jewelry pieces, you can view our collection of recycled jewelry here.

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