My commitment to recycled gold!
From my beginnings, I have preferred to use recycled gold to make my jewelries. My mission is to offer you the best possible alternative on the market. Indeed, a precious jewel that will have the most positive impact on the environment and human beings. This means a high-quality jewelry, designed and handcrafted to last. It also implies jewelry made with the most ethical materials available, with the choice of two alternatives for gold: fair trade gold or recycled gold.
An alternative to mining gold?
Firstly, gold is one of the most precious and rare metals in the world. It is estimated that the earth's crust contains approximately 4-5 grams of gold per ton on average. Moreover, this gold is very difficult to extract. Therefore, gold mining is one of the most polluting industries in the world: extracting 3 grams of gold (the equivalent of a little gem) requires 1,500 liters of water, 10 grams of mercury and 100 grams of cyanide, which pollute rivers and poison the soil.
According to the World Gold Council, the annual emissions from the gold market generate 126 million tons of CO2, more than a third of which come directly from mining and smelting. Furthermore, farms are often located in forest areas which leads to deforestation and the eviction of people living on these lands.
Finally, many illegal activities do not consider environmental and social precautions at all. Beyond pollution, this industry is also known for the poor working conditions of the miners and, in the worst case, for non-respect of human rights (child labor, forced labor, financing of armed conflicts, etc.). However, the good part is that there are definitely other alternatives here!
Fair trade gold is represented by two main labels which are "Fairmined" and "Fairtrade". The idea of certified fair-trade gold is a fairer value chain, with greater remuneration for miners, and more broadly, a responsible mining activity: better working conditions, more stability, not ignoring the promise of the cessation of child labor. On the other hand, little change concerning the improvement of the impact on the environment. Despite my interest in fair trade gold, I decided to use another ethical gold, recycled gold, for the creation of my jewelry.
First of all, because the environmental footprint of gold occurs mainly during its extraction. By using recycled gold, we bring it back to life by avoiding its most polluting phase, and therefore we avoid a strong environmental impact. Almost half (48.5%) of the world's gold is used by jewelry, which means that a very large part of the needs could be met by recycled gold alone. Nevertheless, there is enough gold already mined to cover the demand for jewelry for the next 50 years according to the World Gold Council.
As an artisan, it is considerable to understand where the gold for your jewelries comes from. Therefore, I favor a short supply chain of locally recycled gold from Belgium with a low carbon footprint. As a result, this gold no longer needs to cross the oceans to reach us. In addition, when a client wishes to remake 18K gold jewelry of his own that has great sentimental value, I directly use the gold from one’s own jewellery to remake a new piece.
Beyond losses (gold dust) and remains in jewellery workshops (including mine), recycled gold comes from the jewelries recuperation and other gold objects sold in gold redemption shops (broken and mismatched jewelries, jewelries that we no longer want, coins, other objects,). To a lesser extent (about 10% in total), gold is extracted from electronic waste (For example, computer hardware).
Then, it moves on to the refining phase, which aims to extract and separate the precious metals, particularly gold, from other materials. This allows pure gold to be retrieved (24 karats). Finally, a new alloy (18K yellow, pink or white gold) is built in the form of small metal balls, wire or plate. It is from this alloy that I then make your jewellery.
When this phase of refining is finally complete, you will have gold as pure as the one on the other side of the globe and with an assurance of the consistency of the alloy! All this gold is therefore melted in order to be reused to give it a second life. Precious metals like gold are infinitely recyclable without degrading their quality.
Did you know that I collect your jewelry, broken, damaged, or that you no longer want in order to transform them as you pleased and make a new custom-made piece of jewelry?