Recycled gold wedding rings are not only an ethical choice but can also be a sentimental one.
There are different ways to create recycled gold wedding rings. One way is to used certified recycled metal. Another, which I employ most often, is to reuse heirloom jewellery.
Recycled Gold Wedding Rings
Goldsmiths have always recycled gold since the beginning of the trade. What is left over after a project, the “scrap”, is collected for refinement or use in another project. We even collect the gold dust!
When creating a new piece, not from existing heirloom or scrap gold, I use SCS-Certified 100% recycled metal.
Other recycled precious metals such as platinum and sterling silver are also available.
Reusing Jewellery in your Wedding Rings
Why take anything else from the earth if you don’t have to? Reusing your heirloom jewellery is not just a great ethical choice, it’s also a deeply meaningful choice.
Wedding rings and heirloom jewellery are often passed down but sometimes they are not wearable. Perhaps the style is not to your liking, perhaps it doesn’t fit, perhaps there are some stones missing. Whatever the reason you are not wearing your heirloom pieces, it’s a shame to keep them tucked away. They are meant to be worn and enjoyed, to celebrate memories as you create your own.
How to Create Recycled Gold Wedding Rings Using Your Heirloom Jewellery
What Kinds of Gold Work to Reuse?
The best kind of gold to reuse is yellow. The alloy of yellow gold is the most conducive to re-melting without issues. I’ve reused 10k, 14k, 18k and pure gold with fantastic results.
I’ve also had success with re-melting white and rose gold although those alloys tend to be more problematic.
White gold is a brittle alloy and when it is re-melted there is a greater chance of porosity (small air bubbles) in the casting. It is best re-used in an organic ring such as a hammered or textured wedding band.
Rose gold tends to be brittle when re-cast as well and have the same potential issues as white gold.
What if my Heirloom Jewellery isn’t the Same Colour of Gold that I Want in my Wedding Ring?
In this case then we can use your pieces as credit toward the project. Unfortunately we can’t change gold from one colour to another. Unless you have 24k pure gold in which case we would be able to alloy it to the colour of your choice.
What if I Want to Add Other Metal or Gemstones to my Wedding Ring in Addition to my Heirloom Material?
If you would like to add additional materials to your wedding band, that’s no problem! For example in the above picture we reused the 10k yellow gold to create the “stripes” and added palladium white gold for the base.
Or if you have heirloom gemstones you’d like to reuse in your ring we can harvest them and reuse them in your wedding bands. Sometimes smaller stones are harder to remove from their original settings. Ideally it’s best to reuse gemstones that are 2mm or larger.
What does it Cost to Reuse My Heirloom Jewellery in My Wedding Ring?
Generally speaking you will receive a savings of 50% when compared to a new ring if you are reusing your jewellery. I’ve written more about what to expect here if you’re considering reusing your heirloom pieces in your wedding bands.
What are the Benefits of Using My Jewellery to Create My Recycled Gold Wedding Rings?
First and foremost you will be carrying your precious heirloom jewellery with you everyday in the form that you are comfortable with. Next, there is an obvious financial benefit. And finally it is an ethical and environmentally responsible choice. Sounds like a good idea to me!
If you have more questions be sure to check out my page about the reusing process here.