Recycled Silver In Jewelry

Recycled Silver In Jewelry
This shows a few days worth of recycled sterling silver scrap from our shop. We will send it back to our refiner. Jewelers have been recycling precious metal for thousands of years.

Recycled silver in jewelry. Using recycled silver in jewelry does not reduce mining, but does symbolically represent concern for the environment.

Silver has an ancient association with the moon and its lunar influence. It has a reflective and receptive quality that is tied to creativity and the imagination. Silver, within the periodic table letters (ag), is the 47th Element.

Though there are specific silver mines, silver is often a by-product of gold mining. Like gold, the mining of silver in many cases results in environmental and social atrocities.

For many years now, we have been using silver that is refined purely from recycled sources. We were one of the very first in the jewelry sector to do so. Recycled silver is marketed as an eco-friendly choice by jewelers who use it. While using recycled silver has symbolic meaning and helps to raise awareness on the issue of precious metal sourcing, it does not reduce additional mining for silver which takes place around the world. Silver is a commodity that will be mined and traded regardless of how much recycled silver jewelers use.

Fairtrade silver is the best possible option and our preferred choice, as it supports ethical small-scale mining, giving miners and their families the opportunity to be paid a fair price and build their futures, investing in schools, better working conditions and improved healthcare. Yet only a few hundred pounds of this silver is being produced monthly. When fairtrade silver becomes more widely available, we will make our jewelry with it.

Demand for fairtrade silver is high, yet only a few hundred pounds of this silver is being produced monthly. When it becomes available, we will make our jewelry with it. Until then, we will continue to make our silver jewelry from recycled silver.

Sterling Silver
Fine silver, also known as "pure silver" is too malleable and soft for jewelry. Our recycled silver is mixed with 7.5% copper to create "sterling silver". Sterling silver is 92.5% fine silver, which is the accepted standard for modern sterling silver jewelry.

The addition of copper, which most agree is the best metal to improve silver's hardness, does not change silver's desirable color and does little to diminish silver's value. Most of the value in a silver piece of jewelry is in the labor involved to craft intricate patterns and motifs.

Sterling silver pieces are generally stamped with a "quality" or "fineness" insignia on the backside of a piece. These are called 'hallmarks'. Some generic examples are: .925, Ster, Sterling, Sterling silver.
Silver Care
Silver will last for generations if properly cared for. It is best to store your silver pieces in a pouch or a box to protect it from scratching. Silver will tend to oxidize in an acidic environment—urban areas, for example. There are pouches and papers designed to minimize the amount of oxidation your silver jewelry is exposed to during storage.

Also, consider removing your silver when using bleach, ammonia or if you swim often in a chlorinated pool. Harsh chemicals can damage silver and remove any oxidation elements, which may be an essential part of a particular design.

Sulfur and hydrogen sulfide in ambient air will react to silver and result in a natural dulling effect. To prevent tarnish from building up, clean your silver regularly with a polishing cloth. Tarnish is much easier to remove when it is first apparent.

Do not use liquid silver cleaners, particularly with our jewelry, which is intentionally antiqued. Liquid dipping solutions take out oxidation. Instead, use a polishing cloth to keep your piece shiny and sparkling.