Recycled Gold and Silver
Is Fair Gold better than recycled Gold?
The fairtrade gold brand exists maybe 10 years now in its global form. That means if you buy fair gold it has been fairly mined sometime in the last ten years. What does fair or ethical mean in the developing countries where gold is being mined? This means mining without Cyanide and Mercury and the miners are paid fairly. This is an incredible and a huge step forward for our environment and humanity. I'm sure this is very often the case and i'm sure it serves to help many poor miners. I'm unfortunately skeptical that this is always the case with fair gold.
Maybe its time to mine less and recycle more?
Recycled Gold is made up of old jewellery or old electronics. The metal is tested, melted at over 1000 degrees Celsius and refined down to original pure gold (24 karat). The Gold is again tested and then alloyed under strict European Hallmark laws.
Recycling Gold is nothing new! Goldsmiths have always recycled their precious metal. We are very proud to say that our Gold is 100% recycled from local scrap by an Austrian refinery.
Our Gold is not traditionally mined or fair mined. Simply not mined at all! Its time to use what we have above the ground. People may argue that with recycled gold we have almost no transparecy regarding the origin of the Gold. This is true! just like with recycled paper we dont know where it originally came from. We don't know which forest was cut down but that's not the point. The damage has been done. The most important point is that the current environmental damage stops, we learn and we start recycling.
Environmentally friendly jewellery is an up hill struggle on all sides. Precious metal is not the only natural resource that we rely on. Gemstone mining is of course also an environmental problem. Thankfully chemicals are of no use in Gemstone extraction. Earth is moved but usually returned back especially in small mines where the land is rented. Miners work hard! They need to be respected and fairly paid! Here at Atelier O' Shea we work together with many miners especially in India and Sri Lanka. We support miners and stone cutters directly. When we choose a stone parcel from a miner he is paid fairly, contact is made and we look forward to a happy future together. There is still a long way to go, next step will be an enviormentally friendly polishing paste. We are on it!
For more info on Gemstone mining CLICK HERE