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Recycled Gold Jewelry

by Luis Navarro
Last updated on August 21, 2023
6 year anniversary gift_flowers_calla lilies

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in consumer behavior towards sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. This trend has been particularly evident in the jewelry industry, where the use of recycled gold has been on the rise, and especially with those looking for a conflict-free engagement ring. Recycled gold jewelry is a great choice for environmentally conscious and ethical consumers.

The Problem with Traditional Gold Mining


Traditional gold mining, also known as artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), involves the use of basic techniques and tools to extract gold from the earth. Although these practices have existed for centuries, they pose several significant issues impacting the miners and the environment. For all these reasons, gold derived from mining practices is commonly called “dirty gold.”

Health Risks

Small-scale miners working in traditional gold mines are exposed to a variety of health hazards, including toxic chemicals like mercury and cyanide, dust, and other harmful substances. These hazards can result in multiple health issues, including respiratory ailments, skin irritations, and neurological disorders.

Environmental Devastation

It’s important to note that traditional gold mining practices can result in severe environmental repercussions. Using chemicals like mercury can contaminate water bodies and soil, causing lasting harm to ecosystems and the communities that rely on them. Not only that, but the excavation of vast tracts of land and the deployment of heavy machinery can lead to deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats.

Lack of Regulation

Additionally, a lack of regulation and oversight in traditional gold mining can result in the exploitation of miners, with detrimental effects on local mining communities.

Low Yields

Although traditional gold mining poses significant risks and has the potential to cause great environmental damage, many miners still resort to these methods, as they believe they can extract more gold than with other ones. Unfortunately, ASM usually only produces small amounts of gold, and miners often work exhausting hours for minimal compensation.

The Benefits of Recycled Metals

gold rings surrounded by plants

Using recycled metals can help to reduce the demand for mining and the extraction of new raw materials. This, in turn, helps to conserve natural resources and minimizes the negative environmental effects associated with mining. Moreover, recycling metals requires significantly less energy than creating newly mined metals. For example, recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy than producing it from bauxite ore.

Additionally, opting to recycle metals can prove to be a more cost-effective solution than mining fresh metals. This is primarily because the recycling process requires comparatively less refining and processing, thereby curbing production expenses.

That is why jewelry brands commonly use recycled precious metals such as gold for their products, including engagement rings, necklaces, and earrings.

How Recycled Gold is Made

closeup shot of a yellow gold ring

At first, the process of recycling gold may seem complex, but it’s actually simpler than one may think.

Items containing gold, such as jewelry or electronic components, are collected and sorted accordingly. A furnace then melts the sorted gold items into liquid form. A goldsmith can refine this liquid gold to remove impurities, such as other metals or contaminants.

To achieve the desired color, one may alloy the gold with other metals such as copper or silver. For example, adding copper to gold creates a reddish hue known as rose gold, while adding silver makes white gold. Recyclers then mold the recycled gold into solid bars or various shapes to make it available for creating exquisite and stunning pieces of gold jewelry.

Our Use of Certified Recycled Gold

gold hoop earrings surrounded by yellow flowers

“The Responsible Jewellery Council helps companies of all sizes throughout the jewellery supply chain meet the rising ethical demands of peers, consumers, financial institutions and civil society.”

At Clean Origin, we uphold our environmental responsibility by ensuring that all of our precious metals are certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council. This is to ensure their quality is as high as newly mined gold – all without the negative impacts.

Jewelry from Clean Origin uses a variety of recycled sources like discarded jewelry, industrial and manufacturing metals, and electronics. When possible, we use 100% recycled precious metals, but limited supply prevents us from making some components this way.

Clean Origin – Your Source of Ethical Jewelry

Clean Origin store

Shop our collection of engagement rings and jewelry with confidence. Whether you’re looking for an engagement ring, wedding ring, or a thoughtful wedding anniversary gift we have you covered. Our lab grown diamonds are the ethical and cost-efficient option, with prices 20% to 40% lower than those of mined diamonds.

At Clean Origin, our team of diamond jewelry experts is ready to help you find the ideal piece. Schedule a virtual consultation with one of our team members or visit a showroom in a city near you today!