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Engagement Rings
The Truth About Recycled Gold
Oct 18, 2021
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you might have an idea of what's coming next. Even if you don't know the precise topic, you know that it will be an in-depth exposé of the diamond industry that will reveal another deeply buried secret, a secret they use to profit off the back of unwary customers. 
 
You might have seen the slogan "We use recycled gold" proudly plastered in advertisements, billboards and brochures by a growing number of players in the jewellery world. This, however, is just the latest in a long line of misleading attempts at pandering to the eco-conscious and modern demographic. Their claim of helping the earth by only using recycled gold for their rings while openly selling mined diamonds, or 'Blood Diamonds', which destroy environments and lives, is nothing more than a hypocritical marketing sham concocted by the established jewellery industry in their attempt to stay relevant. 
 
So, let's start at the beginning. The 'recycled gold' marketing campaign originated during the 80s but fizzled out over the successive decades. If it stayed that way, we wouldn't have written a piece in an attempt to bring it to light. Unfortunately, the campaign has seen a massive resurgence, backed by the established players in the jewellery industry. Not only are the purported benefits of using 'recycled gold' simply not true, but it is actively harming consumers' trust and choice. 

 

Nothing good has ever come from wearing recycled gold since the sources of those gold are unhappy events. The only time people willingly sell their gold is when their partners have passed away or through a divorce. Even more disheartening is when people become so down on their luck that their only hope to get back on their feet is by selling their precious jewellery. That is without mentioning the lucrative second-hand market and pawnshops that prey on desperate customers. Worryingly, experts speculate that a significant portion of the jewellery circulating in the second-hand market is loot from robbery and break-ins. To avoid scrutiny, the gold is quickly melted and re-sold as 'clean recycled gold'. There are very few circumstances where recycled gold has not been seeped in unhappiness and suffering. The widely accepted belief among many communities is that rings made from recycled gold carry 'bad karma', which then gets passed on to the new owner, bringing misfortune to the couple. 

 

NOVITA DIAMONDS does not believe in using recycled gold for our rings and jewellery. We don't want our customers to carry the burden of used gold. Engagements and weddings are joyous occasions and causes for celebration, signifying the start of a new journey, a new phase of life. Thus, they should only be accompanied by the purity of new gold and without any of the associated misfortune of recycled gold. After all, an engagement or a wedding is a unique event that happens only once.

The myth about mining and recycled gold 

 

One of the loudest rallying points for the 'Recycled Gold' movement is that it eliminates the need for newly mined and minted gold and thus drastically reducing pollution and environmental damage. We, of course, contest this claim since it is just another marketing trick. To demonstrate our point, we will use math and numbers. Let's start by finding out how much gold is consumed to create all the engagement and wedding rings the world uses in one year. Currently, 3,000 tonnes of pure gold is collectively mined all around the world in a year. 1 tonne of pure gold results in 1.33 tones of 18k gold (0.33 tones consist of other alloys). An average ring has 4g of 18k gold, so with 1.33 tonnes of 18k, we can produce 332,500 rings.

 

In summary, 1 tonne of pure gold is enough to produce 332,500 rings. To find out how much pure gold is used in a year to make rings, we have to determine how many marriages occur in the same period. In America, the largest consumer market in the world, an average of 260,000 marriages takes place. Although we don't have concrete figures, most experts estimate that 3.5 million marriages occur globally. Using simple maths, we can calculate that to produce 3.5 million engagement rings for everyone around the world for a year will take 10.5 tonnes of pure gold. That represents 0.35 % of the global gold output, which is such an insignificant amount it's almost ridiculous. It's almost a rounding error. So how much are the companies and chains claiming they use "Recycled Gold' actually contributing to the reduction in mining? Less than half a per cent!