Gold has been a favorite jewelry metal for thousands of years. It is one of few metals that is found pure in nature, hence was the first metal used by humans. Its malleability allowed ancient civilizations to create fantastic adornments… a tradition we continue to follow today.
Gold is still by far the most popular metal worldwide for wedding rings. We use mostly 18k alloys of gold in my studio because of their superior color, workability, and higher gold content. I also enjoy using 22k or 24k gold for its rich color, malleability and softness, and resistance to oxidation for customers wishing to start from scratch by melting the gold and pouring an ingot themselves.
Gold can be alloyed into multiple shades of color without losing its beauty and shine. The 18k gold alloy colors available to use in our workshops are white, yellow, pink, red, green, and peach. 22k gold is available in green, yellow, and red. We can also create boutique alloys such 23k yellow, 20k white, or pale pink.
In light of environmental neglect on the part of much of the mining industry, as well as poor treatment of miners and surrounding communities, a movement has begun to reduce the environmental impact of the precious metals in jewelry. More aggressive recycling, monitoring mining companies’ practices, and educating consumers are at the core of the movement.
Eco-gold is the term used for gold that is obtained from low impact sources. Most often, it is recycled from old jewelry or scrap from jewelry manufacturers. It is sometimes obtained from mining companies that adhere to stricter environmental and safety standards.
On average, the gold, platinum, palladium, and silver I use in my studio is 99% recycled. All of my customers receive recycled materials. . . you don’t have to ask. There is a rare exception for a few items that I cannot obtain from eco-certified sources. I notify customers ahead of time when their designs require the use of materials from one of these suppliers. There is usually no cost premium to use eco-gold, recycled platinum, or recycled palladium.