Like other natural resources, for example oil and diamonds, there is a finite amount of gold in the world, but are we running out and when?

As gold must be extracted from the earth, it faces similar challenges to that of diamond mining...some gold is buried so deep that it is not economical to retrieve it with current mining methods. Speculation is that large-scale gold mining is unlikely to continue past 2075, unless we make huge advances in mining technology, or discover new massive gold deposits.

Panned gold nuggets

Recycling to the rescue

But it is not all bad news. One major advantage that gold has over oil and diamonds is that it can be recycled into fresh pure metal. So “running out of gold” isn’t really an issue and we expect the gold industry to change from mining to recycling, allowing the global gold supply to be recirculated. For example, many efforts are already being made to extract gold from the vast quantity of disposable electronics, but unfortunately much of it still winds up in landfill every year.

Read on to find out what DesignYard is doing to help recirculate gold today!

gold used in electronics

Reworking heirloom gold

Another way we can recycle gold is what goldsmiths have been doing for centuries: reusing gold jewellery and make it into new pieces. For example, these DesignYard bangles were made from old jewellery - melted down and made into new bracelets. We reclaimed any gems that were in pristine condition and used them to add a bit of sparkle to these classic bangles.

9 karat round bangle with 9 reclaimed diamonds

We can also use your old gold and gems towards other jewellery. Bangles are popular, but we can equally make bespoke pendants, necklaces, bracelets and rings, using your sentimental gold pieces. Using heirloom gold for wedding bands is particularly popular or how about a popular paper clip necklace made from Granny's old gold? There are lots of possibilities. Talk to us about your special piece.

Generally, the goldsmith will not change the purity (expressed in karat) of the metal they are melting - so a group of 9 karat gold jewellery will make a new 9 karat gold piece of jewellery. Although some specialised goldsmiths have the skills to bump it up or down a little, or maybe change the colour, they will not be able to make pure 24 karat gold from your old jewellery. For this you need a specialist gold refiner.

Refining old gold

Modern gold refining industries now allow for recycling old jewellery into pure gold. The gems are removed from the jewellery before melting and extracting 24 karat gold from the jewellery. The pure gold can then be used to create investment grade gold bars, or mixed to create gold wire, sheet or casting grain, ready for making new jewellery.

Gold refined from existing jewellery, that has been alloyed for use in jewellery, is called recycled gold. The jewellery goes through the same refining process as mined gold to create first pure 24 karat gold and then alloyed with other metals to make 18, 14 and 9 karat gold, in different colours and forms. It comes in the same alloys and colours as mined gold and is of exactly the same quality as mined gold.

Read on to learn about DesignYard's spectacular recycling offer.

Jewellery industry trends

The trend for recycling continues to gain momentum worldwide. It has long moved on from recycling just paper, plastics and glass, to look at additional ways of saving the world’s natural resources. One area that is showing strong growth is consumer demand for recycled gold. Initially it was seen as an inferior material, but today we find consumers to be more sophisticated and understand what recycled gold is exactly the same as mined gold - minus the ecological damage.

Shimell & Madden use recycled gold for spectacular engagement rings Shimell and Madden use recycled gold for spectacular pendants

From eco-friendly packaging to reducing the use of chemicals in the workshop, jewellers are often on the lookout for ways to make their jewellery more environmentally conscientious. They were quick to adopt recycled gold in advance of customer demand. You’ll find many contemporary makers at DesignYard using recycled gold for their jewellery, we even us it in our own designs.

Cardillac uses recycled gold in their earrings Cardillac uses recycled gold in their gorgeous rings

Not surprisingly, availability of recycled gold has increased dramatically in the past five years, with some trade suppliers offering refined gold exclusively. We are delighted to see our customers increasingly asking for recycled gold.

Spectacular DesignYard offer

DesignYard is stepping up efforts to recycle gold with a fantastic offer for customers who want to give new purpose to their unloved jewellery:
Hand in any of your unloved, broken or old gold jewellery and we will issue you a DesignYard Gift Voucher in return. Your Gift Voucher will reflect the full market value of your gold on the day which typically will be double the value you would achieve at high street "cash for gold" store. Click here for details.

We're pretty sure you won't find a better offer in Ireland. And you'll have credit set aside for a lovely new jewellery purchase sometime in the future -- as DesignYard gift vouchers do not expire. Your Gift Voucher may be used to purchase any jewellery or art from our website or in the gallery. Or use it towards a bespoke jewellery design created in our own workshop.
May 18, 2021 — Nicole van der Wolf