A woman I met recently exclaimed with excitement, “I know a goldsmith who uses RECYCLED gold in his work! Isn’t that marvelous!?”
I tried not to roll my eyes.
You see, all gold and silver jewelry that you buy whether from something produced last week or last century uses or used recycled metal. WHY? Because it’s precious. It says so in the name.
When you own silver or gold--whether it is in the scrap from a jeweler’s workbench, an old silver candy dish, or a loose filling--you know that you don’t just chuck it in the garbage when you’re done with it because you know that would be throwing money away.
Likewise, when you BUY silver or gold jewelry you know, YOU KNOW, it will always have some sort of value.
It drives me crazy when I look at the jewelry for sale at some of the big “fast” fashion brands. It’s all jewelry designed only to be worn once or twice and, by the nature of how it is made can’t easily be recycled because it’s a mix of mostly stainless steel and plastic. Furthermore, for only a little bit more money than the price of a plastic necklace, a buyer could purchase silver jewelry from a reputable silversmith and unlike the costume piece, it would be something the wearer could love year after year. If an owner outgrows a silver piece? Then they have the option to sell it--there is always a market for well-made jewelry. There is even a market for BROKEN sterling silver jewelry.
Now, I’m not suggesting you buy 1974’s jewelry only to sell it to the local refinery when done--1974 jewelry is not only made with quality materials, it is crafted with intention and integrity by people I know and respect as artisans. But what’s great about artisan-crafted silver (not just mine) is that it HOLDS its value. It isn’t MEANT to be disposed of because, well, it’s precious. Just like you.