Sustainable gold jewelry through recycling
by Sonja Zuckerstätter·
Can gold jewelry be sustainable? Jewelry made of 100% real gold has many advantages over ordinary costume jewelry. They make you happy for a long time and that alone is sustainable. But what about the actual environmental impact? After all, gold is a natural material that - like all other resources - is finite. We'll explain why recycling can make a big difference here.
Sustainable gold for sustainable happiness
For us, gold jewelry is sustainable because it makes people happy for so long. After all, sustainability basically means that something is used over a long period of time and then reused. And that's exactly what's possible with gold. Because jewelry made of pure real gold doesn't stain, doesn't lose its color or shine, and (almost) can't break. So you can wear them every single day. Moreover, accessories made of gold have always been trendy for centuries. In timeless design, you can wear it for 30, 40 or 50 years without going out of fashion. Moreover, unlike costume jewelry, which is gold-plated, for example, gold has a real value: it secures you financially and can be sold or even melted down. These are all important aspects of sustainability.
Where does gold actually come from?
As a natural material, gold is a finite resource that is being extracted from the planet. That is why it is so important in our eyes to look into the origin of gold. The valuable metal can be extracted from gold mines that extend up to 4,000 meters deep into the earth. Or it can be sifted from rivers in painstakingly small amounts. There are also more sustainable and innovative methods available today: Gold can be extracted from the earth by using plants, for example. In total, about 2,500 tons of gold are currently mined and processed annually. About half of the gold extracted comes from China.
In total, it is assumed that about 160,000 tons of gold have been extracted from the earth so far. It is used - in addition to jewelry made of real gold - to make bars and coins, as well as in manufacturing. And it has been a universal means of payment for centuries, retaining its value. At the same time, the large amount of gold available also opens up the possibility of recycling it and giving it a second life. Maybe even as a gold earring, gold chain or gold ring in your jewelry collection.
This speaks for recycled gold
The largest share of recycled gold is obtained from so-called scrap gold: That is from gold jewelry, medals, dental gold, and gold bars and coins. These are so suitable for recycling because they usually have a high gold content - often up to 18 carats. A small proportion, around five to ten percent, of the recycled gold is also recovered from electronic scrap. This is because the valuable metal also plays an important role in IT and consumer electronics, where it is used as a coating material, for example. Various processes are used to recover gold, in which the scrap gold is shredded, ground, melted down or dissolved with a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids.
After recycling, gold becomes a full-fledged part of the global gold supply again - because there is no difference in quality to new mined gold. So the old gold is given a new lease on life. And that's more sustainable than digging new gold out of the ground. You can then wear the recycled gold as a sustainable piece of jewelry: for example, with our boops, in which we use recycled gold as much as possible.
Gold jewelry and social responsibility
For us, sustainability is not just about conserving our planet's resources: We all also have a social responsibility towards other people on this planet. Because all the clothes, electrical appliances, furniture and the like that we buy are made by people. And that also applies to jewelry, of course. That's why it's important that you pay attention to the working conditions of goldsmiths, suppliers and producers - and that they are paid fairly for their work.
boops gold jewelry with principles
With boops, our founder Rana had a clear goal in mind from the very beginning: she wanted to offer jewelry made of 100% real gold and in a timeless design at an affordable price. In this way, it should also be possible for young women to buy really valuable jewelry - as an alternative to costume jewelry, which can quickly become discolored or broken. We deliberately avoid high margins with our gold creoles, gold chains and gold rings. At the same time, however, it is important to us to pay all suppliers and our family-run goldsmiths fairly. So we neither depress our purchase prices, nor do we resell our jewelry overpriced: This is how we take social responsibility.
As far as possible, we also use recycled gold, which is processed by hand into our basic hoops, basic rings and chains & necklaces. To be on the safe side when selecting our partners, we only work with companies that belong to the "Responsible Jewelry Council". This way, we ensure that we work in a sustainable as well as socially responsible way. And that you can wear your boops jewelry with a clear conscience for a lifetime.