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Three things to ask before buying recycled gold or silver jewellery

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

In our day to day lives, we think of recycled products as those that have been made from waste. You might own stationary made from recycled paper, or a polyester sweater made from discarded plastic drinks bottles. We choose these products as a way of helping to reduce waste and protect our environment.


However, the term recycled means something slightly different when it comes to jewellery....


What does recycled GOLD and silver mean?

Precious metals are never considered waste, because they are so valuable. Every last scrap is always carefully collected and reused.


Recycling gold and silver is an everyday practice in when making jewellery. So much so that most jewellery on sale will contain metals that have been used before. When you see jewellery labelled as made from 'recycled' gold or silver, the metal likely comes from a mix of:

  • Metal left over from manufacturing.

  • Jewellery that was made, but never sold, for example faulty items or overstock.

  • Scrap metal taken from other industries, such as the electronics sector.

  • Old jewellery that the owner no longer wants.

Recycled silver earrings

The first three of these metal sources may have only been mined recently, so referring to them as ‘recycled’ is misleading. Additionally, this metal is often mixed with sources of newly mined metal, with no way of knowing where it came from.


So, if a brand says they are working responsibly because their collection is made from recycled metal, you might want to dig a bit deeper.


1. Can the brand can guarantee their metal is 100% recycled?

2. Do they have certification to back up their claims?

3. Do they have breakdown of where the recycled metal originally came from?


We know where our silver came from

The silver in our Considered Signature range, comes from a company called Cookson Precious Metals in the UK and Legor in Italy. The metal from Legor is certified as ‘100% recycled’ in line with the Responsible Jewellery Council Chain of Custody Standard. The metal from Cookson will be certified in 2024.


The silver comes from a range of sources including scrap jewellery and giftware, the automotive sector and industry waste. It has no newly mined metal added to it.


In the future we plan to use metal purely from a post-consumer source, so we can truly consider it recycled. Until then, you’ll notice that we generally refer to our metal as ‘reclaimed’ rather than recycled.


We’re dedicated to creating a radically transparent jewellery brand, and helping you to buy with confidence. Feel free to drop us a line with any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

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