We are all familiar with recycling materials such as paper and plastics, but what is recycled precious metal and why does it matter that it is 100% recycled?
The phrase ‘recycled precious metals’ is being used more and more in the jewellery industry. Claiming that your jewellery is ‘recycled’ has become a buzz term and so it can be difficult as a consumer to decipher whether the jewellery you’re purchasing is 100% recycled or just partially recycled.
I think it’s important as a brand to use materials with a limited environmental impact to create jewellery that looks great and does good. Which is why, here at ANUKA, our silver jewellery is crafted using ethically sourced 100% recycled silver.
Before we get into the details, here are a few facts about silver:
- Silver is a by-product of the gold mining industry.
- Silver is a very malleable metal, which is why it is so popular for making jewellery with.
- Silver is harder than gold but softer than copper.
What Does Recycled Precious Metal Mean?
Recycled precious metal is a material that has been refined back to its pure form and re-alloyed before being used again. In other words, it is 100% recycled and contains absolutely no newly mined material.
It simply comes from a range of sources that include the jewellery industry, industrial residues, used electronic scrap, automotive materials and fuel cells.
100% Recycled VS Partly Recycled?
This metal is one of the better metals for the environment as it contains absolutely no newly mined material and when it is processed and refined correctly and with care, limits its impact further.
Refers to silver that has a percentage of recycled metal mixed with newly mined material, which in most cases is untraceable.
You can trace the origin of the 100% recycled silver we use here:
Is Recycled Silver As Good Quality As Non-Recycled Silver?
No purity is lost in the process of extracting silver from used silver items. The finished product is still silver, it just means we are reusing resources that are already above ground, making sure they are kept in circulation and bring life to new jewellery
How To Know Whether A Brand Is Telling The Truth On Their Recycled Stats?
With such a demand for transparency, it is important to feel confident that the jewellery you're buying is as ethical as it claims to be.
It could be that a labelled ‘recycled silver’ piece of jewellery is actually only 40% recycled with the rest made up of untraceable newly mined silver.
To verify that what a brand is saying is true, here are some things to look out for when purchasing recycled silver.
- Is the supply chain fully verified or traced and detailed on their website.
- Is there detail on manufacturing? If a brand is not forthcoming in offering details of sourcing and production. Ask why?
- Does it state the % that the material is recycled? If not, ask.
You can trace the origin of the recycled silver we use here in the link above!