What is recycled gold?
Some facts about gold mining
Most gold mines are in developing countries, where 90% of miners work in appalling conditions. Mine operators violate fundamental human rights. Child labor and exploitation are a daily abomination. In addition, the large mining companies have a huge impact on the immediate natural environment, such as deforestation, the dumping of chemical mining waste and water pollution. Small-scale miners also work under very dangerous conditions and use chemicals that are harmful to the environment and to themselves.
What this means for me
For me, the beauty of a jewel cannot be linked to exploitation and destruction. That is why I only work with recycled gold and silver since 2018.
Each of my pieces have been made with 90% recycled gold. This gold comes from old jewelry and ‘waste gold’ from the medical and technical sector. Recycling existing gold is less harmful to the environment than mining new gold. This way I make sure that my jewelry is not a burden to people and nature. Every piece of jewelry has already had a life and therefore has a beautiful piece of history.
What does carat mean when used for gold?
The term carat indicates how much pure gold is used in a piece of jewelry. Pure gold (fine gold) is by nature a very soft material, so pure gold jewelry is rare. A jewel made of pure fine gold would quickly scratch or even break.
Therefore, the fine gold is usually combined with other metals to obtain a stronger alloy. The addition (alloy) determines the color and strength of the gold. These additives are often copper, silver or palladium. When the jewelry has a higher carat, it has a ‘deeper’ gold color. If copper is added to the gold, the gold can get a warmer color. For example, by adding a much larger amount of copper to the gold, even rose gold can be made.
The different alloys
Carat therefore refers to this alloy and indicates how much fine gold is processed in a jewel. The higher the carat, the more gold it contains.
• 8 carat: 33,3% pure gold indicated with 333
• 9 carat: 33,75% pure gold indicated with 375
• 14 carat: 58,5% pure gold indicated with 585
• 18 carat: 75,0% pure gold indicated with 750
• 22 carat: 91,6% pure gold indicated with 916
• 24 carat: 99,99% pure gold indicated with 999
In addition to a difference in hardness, there is also a price difference between 14 and 24 carats. This is determined by the amount of fine gold that is incorporated. The price of fine gold is subject to a daily changing gold price. Jewelry in 14 carat thus has a slightly lower price tag, a higher resistance to scratches and dents and also a lower amount of fine gold.