Did you know it takes actual tons of ore to yield just a few grams of pure gold? To find enough of the precious metal, mines have to dig huge holes in the earth, causing the local ecosystems to be displaced. Many mines also pollute their direct environment by using deadly chemicals in the mining process. While there are some mines that have made strides, recycled precious metal is still a far better, environmentally friendly choice.
Yes! The purity of recycled metals is identical to metals that came directly from a mine. I use recycled precious metals that come from a top quality refinery right here in the USA, which -as a result of environmental and ethical consideration- no longer processes newly mined metals. In their highly sophisticated refining process, they pay close attention to re-use of materials, energy conservation, and waste minimization.
A recycled diamond is not in any way different from a newly mined stone – a diamond is a diamond! I use recycled diamonds that come from jewelry which was sold back to that same refinery. They were expertly removed from their previous seating, meticulously cleaned, re-polished and properly graded. I also work with the refinery’s recycled rubies and sapphires.
That said, I am currently still using up the last little bits of my old inventory of metals and stones which were not guaranteed to be recycled. (I know, I know, but having it reprocessed just to be able to call it recycled would be terribly wasteful!) I am always as specific as possible about this in my gallery listings.