The world is quickly changing. What were once foreign terms like sustainability and climate change are today front and center in many discussions. Another concept that stands out today is ethical business practices.
Ethical fashion or sustainable jewelry is quickly gaining traction the world over. Most are being driven by more conscious consumers who want the best of both worlds: high-quality jewelry items produced ethically.
The buzz words in the jewelry world are ethical gold jewelry and recycled gold jewelry.
Ethical Gold Jewelry
Gold mining is a long-standing tradition that has been marred by ugly claims of war-financing, child labor, land rights violations, and worker exploitation in recent years.
Essentially, the term ethical gold jewelry means jewelry that did not negatively impact its producers or the environment.
In a nutshell, this means:
● The materials used can be traced back to their source, proving that they were produced ethically. For example, that mined gold is conflict-free, there was a fair trade, and so on.
● Proper disposal of any hazardous chemicals used in the mining and production process. Examples of these are cyanide and Mercury.
● Jewelry is made using recycled materials such as gemstones.
● In the case of Diamonds, Substituting natural diamonds with synthetic ones to adorn gold jewelry.
● There was no child labor and gender inequality, that fair wages were paid to laborers, and that working hours were reasonable.
● The practices used did not pollute the environment or impact it negatively in any way.
● Transparent supply chains.
Recycled Gold Jewelry
Gold is a beautiful, durable metal that can hold for decades. Unfortunately, throwing away old or outdated gold jewelry only adds more trash to landfills which is terrible for the environment.
A different way to go about it for manufacturers is to recycle old gold. This entails melting gold items down and refining them to reach pure gold forms. This can then be used to create new Recycled Gold Jewelry.
This is useful in two ways.
The first is that recycling does not have the same negative environmental impact that regular mining does.
The second is that recycling is significantly more cost-effective than going through the mining process. These lower costs can be passed on to customers in the way of more affordably priced jewelry. It’s a win-win.
Recyclable gold comes from numerous sources, including unused metal, post-consumer products, other gold-bearing products that people want to dispose of, and waste gold from manufacturing.
At the end of the day, you get a new item from recycled gold, not a recycled item.
Is Recycled Gold Jewelry Ethical?
Back to the matter of ethics, you might wonder if recycled gold is ethical or unethical.
Broadly speaking, recycled gold jewelry is considered more ethical than freshly mined gold jewelry because of the environmental impact left behind by the latter.
True, recycled gold jewelry does not address how it was originally mined. However, when environmentally conscious gold jewelry manufacturers like Play With Diamonds use 100% recycled gold, the negative impact on the environment is significantly lowered.