Why Recycled Gold?
When you get engaged to your special someone, the gold band sitting in the jewelry box emits eternal love. However, the origin of the metal wrapped around your finger could taint the symbol itself.
The environmental degradation produced by gold mining is far from beautiful. Gold mining is one of the most harmful industries in our world. The chemicals and waste of the process can lead to air pollution, water pollution, the destruction of ecosystems, the disenfranchisement of Indigenous communities, and negative health effects for the global community. Earthworks, which has run the campaignNo Dirty Goldsince 2004, has calculated that producing gold for one wedding band alone generates 20 tons of waste.
When gold is extracted from the ground, the 20 tons of waste consist of toxic chemicals like mercury and cyanide. These detrimental substances find their way into the water supply and the air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest source of mercury emissions. At 37.7%, ASGM releases approximately 400 metric tons of airborne elemental mercury each year. Because mercury emissions can travel thousands of miles before touching land, this issue is a global matter.
Natural ecosystems are also at risk through water pollution. The toxic chemicals contaminate rivers and lakes that provide fresh water for local communities and wildlife. Many gold mines directly dump their toxic waste into natural bodies of water, affecting not only the body itself, but also those that connect to it. Another consequence of this behavior is acid mine drainage: sulfides from the mining process create sulfuric acid in the water, becoming more harmful as it dissolves other metals from the rocks. This detrimental substance severely impacts marine life and those that consume freshwater fish.
Not only do air and water pollution directly affect the wildlife, but also the communities who are uprooted and disempowered by massive gold mining projects. Gold mining occurs across the globe, putting people’s health, livelihoods, and lives in danger. With all of these environmental ramifications, Alan Septoff of Earthworks is right when he says “there is no such thing as clean gold, unless it’s recycled or vintage.”
Here at Celeste Jewelry, we agree with Alan and that’s why we pair our Moissanite gemstones with recycled materials. We recognize how we can still provide affordable luxury without environmental impact through reusing gold and other metals. Throughout history, gold has been mined and much of it is still out there! Gold does not lose its quality when recycled. We can set our sustainable gem on a recycled gold setting, and remove your symbol of love from the dirty reality of gold mining.
All that glitters may not be gold, but recycled gold sure glitters the brightest for both your partner and the planet!
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