As the name describes, the gold comes from refined or recycled precious metals that are no longer in use. Recycled gold is made up of existing jewelry pieces, industrial metals, or electronics and is re-refined to remove any impurities and the result is chemically identical material to newly mined metals. Recycling gold reduces negative environmental impacts and can be more cost-effective for everyone involved when compared to regularly mining gold out of the ground.
As you know, the gold mining industry is extremely harmful to the atmosphere. Apart from doing explosions deep inside the Earth to extract the gold ore, this industry also pollutes the water. To get gold out of the gold-bearing rock, a solvent is needed. Many times, that solvent is cyanide as it dissolves the gold from the ore into the solution as it trickles through the heap and ends up contaminating the earth and the water(huge amounts of toxic waste often ends up in rivers and oceans, disrupting ecosystems as a result).
Recycled gold jewelry can solve this problem. Instead of mining new gold, some jewelry brands recycle the pieces that nobody wears anymore. By recycling gold, new solid gold jewelry pieces are born without affecting the environment.
Recycling the gold from any electronic and industrial waste is complex because the gold is embedded in a plastic or metal housing. There are several options to strip off the metal/gold from the piece. The first option commonly practiced is chemical stripping done with the help of a compound that reacts with gold. Another method involves melting down the metal components and then cooling and grinding them up.
The primary step for recycling jewelry is measuring the carats and sorting out the purity of gold jewelry. The number of impurities can be analyzed with the help of an acid kit or X-ray fluorescence spectrometer. After sorting gold, it is melted in a crucible at around 1065 Celsius and poured into bars marked by purity. It is the best process that does not harm the environment and also saves a lot of money.
Gold is popular as it is a renewable resource, meaning that gold can be melted down and can be recycled again and again without ever losing its purity or value over time.