My husband never bought me an engagement ring. When we decided to get married there was no bended knee: We fell in love fast and young, and I moved my great-grandmother’s ring from my right hand to my left. But I have always loved vintage jewelry more than new! Like preloved fashion found at a thrift store, garage sale, or clothing swap, wearing something that was previously part of another person’s life is magical to me.
Plus, just as there are landfill-reducing and global-warming fighting benefits of reusing clothes, choosing reused or recycled metal jewelry has significant environmental benefits, as well. Need a great recycled gold jewelry gift for your love, your bestie, or yourself? Read on!
WHY CHOOSE RECYCLED?
Metal mining depends on toxic chemicals like sulphuric acid and cyanide. The practice is incredibly damaging and destroys ecosystems: One gold wedding ring can generate as much as 20 tons of waste! But vintage gems and jewelry made from recycled metals are a better choice, because metal can be perpetually recycled without losing quality. Here are a few of my favorites right now, all made from 100% recycled metals:
I’m obsessed by the delicately perfect stud earrings ($100 per pair) pictured above from AUrate. The company only uses recycled metal, requires Kimberly Process certification for their diamonds, and chooses pearls that are responsibly sourced. AUrate is a New York-based company that also gives back to charities, including BUILD NYC for business-minded high school students.
The Original Story Bangle ($40) from Article 22 is handmade by artisans in Laos from upcycled metals reclaimed from weapons. Proceeds also fund the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) project that clears some of the 80 million unexploded bombs that contaminate land there. The good cause and gorgeous jewelry made a fan of OG environmentalist model and actress Angela Lindvall, too.
If you’re thinking about getting hitched (and don’t have your great-grandmother’s engagement ring available), check out Dear Survivor’s perfectly curated collection of vintage engagement rings (from $695). The company employs female refugees to make their new jewelry from recycled metals and gives back to Generate Hope, a nonprofit that supports human trafficking survivors.
Washed Ashore accents this stunning recycled gold Myra Choker ($440) with upcycled natural saltwater pearls. The company encourages customers to send in their old metal jewelry and receive a discount on new jewelry made from recycled materials, and is a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council.
Honey, are you reading this?
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