Many pieces of nice jewelry are passed from hand to hand over long periods of time, whether it is an older generation passing down jewelry to their children or those who are looking to resell their jewelry in pawnshops or secondhand stores. Because we are usually not looking to throw out our nice jewelry, many of us do not know how recyclable the precious metals are. Here is a guide to show how different metals in jewelry are recycled, and how their contents can be reused in a second life.
Gold can easily be recycled without any risk of it losing its value. Better yet, it can be recycled without the need for any new mining. Mining is unhealthy for the environment, as it releases mercury and cyanide into the air and water supply.
If more recycled gold were put to reuse, the mining problem could be greatly reduced
without compromising gold’s value to consumers. Recycled gold can be remade for many new purposes, including new pieces of jewelry, electronic products and, yes, even dental fillings.
Silver is very similar to gold, as it can be melted down and reused again and again. It can be recycled into many different objects, such as new jewelry and electronic products. New silver is also a danger to the environment
because it takes the same kind of polluting mining techniques as gold. Recycling unwanted silver jewelry, as long as you will not find any other purpose for it, is a small step toward environmentally consciousness.
Diamonds on their own can easily be recycled, reset or recut. The only issue is many diamonds are glued onto other components that are toxic for the environment, and recyclers or jewelers must carefully separate these parts
. Since diamonds have been around for a very long time, the chance of having a recycled diamond in your piece of jewelry is actually pretty high.
PlatinumRecycling platinum can be a difficult
, toxic process that requires either a mixture of different acids or an electrochemical process that releases toxic gases. However, there are also some evolving techniques that will make the process quicker and less harmful to the environment. Many businesses exist that take objects with platinum to be recycled, and this metal can be reused for numerous different purposes, such as jewelry, chemistry tools, medicine and more.
Stainless steel is completely recyclable, and many stainless steel products today are likely to be made from mostly recycled material. Many recycling facilities will take this metal. Stainless steel is used for many purposes other than jewelry, including vehicles, airplanes and much more.