Know your gold; volume two

September 22, 2017

 

recycling gold from circuit boards

 

Adornment, precious metals and mining have a longstanding history. Mining can be directly associated with ruined landscapes, poisoned waters, displaced communities, poverty, economic dependency, corruption, rape, torture, extrajudicial killings and civil war; the colonialism of the global mechanised age. Most mining occurs in remote locations operated by faceless multinational corporations, allowing us to distance ourselves from the realities of its extraction and overlook the fact that the jewellery we wear begins with a source, an origin.

 

history of gold mining, gold above ground versus old left in the earth

“More than half of humanity’s gold has been extracted in the last 50 years. Now the world’s richest deposits are fast being depleted, and new discoveries are rare. Gone are the hundred-mile-long gold reefs in South Africa or cherry-sized nuggets in California. Most of the gold left to mine exists as traces buried in remote and fragile corners of the globe. It’s an invitation to destruction. But there is no shortage of miners, big and small, who are willing to accept”. Brook Larmer, National Geographic

Metals are remarkable in that they can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of their properties. We believe that while some metal mining may always be necessary, ultimately, our most important extraction operations should be taking place in scrap yards and recycling centres, rather than in sensitive ecological areas and ancestral lands.

 

the true value of e-waste

Urban mining is a circular approach to materials that views the city as a “mine” with resources to be extracted from what was once considered waste. Urban mining and more particularly e-waste (electronic waste) can actually be more valuable than mining virgin ore. One ton of circuit boards is estimated to contain 40 times more gold than one ton of ore.

Gold is an heirloom, and we believe it should be treated as such, not just in its final form but also in every stage of its life cycle. By reclaiming our gold from e-waste we hope to play our part in making sure that you don’t just pass a piece of jewellery onto your children but a fair world in which to wear it as well.

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