Why mine when you can reuse? That’s exactly what these 7 recycled gold jewelry brands do!
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Ever wondered what happens to bits of old jewelry? Precious metals and gems are never out of style, and never lose their value, of course. So it’s not surprising that more and more recycled gold jewelry brands are emerging on the ethical fashion scene.
These ethical jewelry brands understand that today’s emphasis on individuality means there’s no need to follow accessories trends – a Victorian brooch holds just as much charm as an avant-garde ring, after all – so they’re offering consumers the option of buying vintage and antique jewelry, or deconstructing those pieces into new ones.
Nowhere is this better demonstrated than London’s Burlington Arcade, a treasure box of luxury shops that runs behind Bond Street from Piccadilly through to Burlington Gardens. It is one of the precursors of the mid-19th-century European shopping gallery and the modern shopping centre, and today, the Arcade sells exquisite recycled, antique and vintage jewellery – two of its most coveted shops are featured below – and luxury fashion.
But it’s not only the experts in Burlington Arcade that recycle precious metals and gems; these ethical jewellery designers below do, too.
7 Recycled Gold Jewelry Brands
Washed Ashore is one of our favourite recycled gold jewelry brands! This is a business who creates accessories with a touch of the sea. Each piece is locally crafted in the heart of Los Angeles, and not only does Washed Ashore use recycled gold, but they also employ pearls that are discarded by the mainstream jewelry industry because they’re slightly misshaped – but if you ask me, that gives them more charm.
Washed Ashore has also constructed a process that prevents the mass use of seashells by using a technique of cold-moulding, which is more eco-conscious than mass collecting scarce organic materials from the sea. We love these tiny, delicate, feminine creations!
This enchanting brand from Iceland has recently launched their New Sand Collection. The humble material inspired the designer, as it’s something found in all nations and represents how tiny individuals create a whole. The name of the brand itself is the acronym for Ambition, Understanding, Responsibility, Unity and Mindfulness, and it lives up to these notions: most of their jewelry is handcrafted from recycled gold and silver in the brand’s integrated workshop and atelier in Reykjavik.
Catbird makes minimalist, recycled gold jewelry for cool girls. It’s definitely delicate, yet durable enough for everyday wear. All pieces are handmade from melted-down, existing 14-karat gold, and their ‘Sweet Nothing’ bracelet is a best seller. We like it best styled with stacks of ‘Threadbare’ rings from the same collection.
Susannah Lovis is renowned for her immensely unique vintage, antique and bespoke pieces. Trained in jewelry design, gemology and diamond grading, Susannah and her team also offer an unparalleled service in jewelry repair at London’s prestigious Burlington Arcade to ensure you get the very best out of your jewelry for years to come. From rare, handcrafted gold elephant cufflinks to an Art Deco platinum and diamond tiara, Lovis’s eclectic mix offers a wonderful insight into England’s changing trends and styles over the years.
As you keep exploring Mayfair’s Burlington Arcade, another noteworthy jewelry brand appears: Richard Ogden. Choose from a specialised selection of Victorian and Edwardian jewels, or bring your family heirlooms to the brand’s craftsmen, who will then transform them into the dream object of your choice. In an age of immediate gratification and haste, the time and care that is dedicated to each bespoke item ensures that Richard Ogden’s remains a bastion of traditional craftsmanship and faultless service.
Image credit: www.silverspoonlondon.co.uk
Social responsibility is at the heart of the jewels made by the California-based metalsmith Andrea Bonelli. She hand-creates delicate metal-and-gem pieces using ethically mined gemstones that are perfectly set in recycled silver and gold. The resulting consciously crafted pieces are sophisticated in their simplicity, and are fit for every occasion. But what we love most about this brand is that every piece is fully unique – isn’t that what you really want from your jewelry?
The tiny flecks, scratches and irregularities that come along with the use of recycled gold don’t phase this American designer – in fact, she thinks they add to the uniqueness of a piece. And we agree! Her delicate earrings, rings and necklaces are nothing short of exquisite, and each piece is handmade in her studio from upcycled metals, meaning this brand is not only ethical, but it’s sustainable, too.
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