Recycled Gold Jewelry: Using recycled gold in jewelry has symbolic meaning, but does not impact mining practices world wide.
Gold is also a foundation of modern capitalism, and the quest for it has built and destroyed entire civilizations. Mining gold remains one of most destructive human activities on earth.
Large-scale mining displaces communities and destroys the environment. Small-scale mining is a social and environmental disaster.
Our company was one of the first jewelry companies to recognize the social and environmental issues around gold mining and to take action. We started by moving our supply chain to 100% recycled with its jewelry production in 2006. Even now, we will buy gold at 93% market value from our customers and apply the dollars toward the purchase of a new fairtrade gold ring or other piece of jewelry. However, we recognized that while using recycled gold has symbolic significance and makes people more conscious of jewelry sourcing issues, it does nothing to impact mining practices around the world. Gold mining will continue regardless of how many jewelers use recycled precious metal.
Fifteen million small-scale miners around the world typically live in poverty and toxicity. They mine in order to eat. Now, we can help them. Fairtrade gold is mined in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. It gives small-scale miners and their families the opportunity to be paid a fair price and to build their futures, investing in schools, better working conditions and improved healthcare.
We were among the first to offer fairtrade gold in the US in 2011. We have been working to bring it into the broader US market, most recently as Fair Trade's main commercial liaison in the North American market. In April 2015, we became the first licensed fairtrade jeweler in the US.
Fairtrade gold is by far the best gold to use for any piece of jewelry. It is far and away the most precious gold in the world.