Why We Use Recycled Metals

Dirty gold mining has a history of civil war, labor abuses, and environmental devastation. Metal mining, and gold mining in particular, is one of the most environmentally destructive types of mining and millions of gold miners earn low wages in dangerous working conditions.

Our objective is to help diminish the negative impacts of dirty gold by reducing the demand for newly mined metals and contributing to programs dedicated to improving mining practices.


Quality and Origin

The jewelry we cast is made with primarily recycled and re-refined precious metals. Because our recycled and re-refined silver, gold, platinum, and palladium are refined back into their pure elements, they are of the same high quality as newly mined metals, without the level of degradation to our natural resources caused by new mining.

We continually work towards increasing the recycled content and improving reporting regarding our products. We were one of the first jewelers to elect to have an independent audit of our supply chain to provide additional verification that the metals we use meet the standards for recycled content. We work with third party verification systems to verify the amount of recycled content of our precious metals and continually improve our suppliers’ systems for managing and sourcing these materials according to our best practices.

Brilliant Earth’s precious metals come from numerous sources, including post-consumer materials, such as existing jewelry, industrial-use metals, and electronics components; material from in-house recycling, refining, and product manufacturing or other secondary sources; and investment gold and gold-bearing products.

There are different definitions for recycled precious metals in the jewelry industry that are defined by London Bullion Market Association, Responsible Jewellery Council, and Responsible Business Alliance. We are working with these international bodies to standardize the definition so that we can source exclusively post-consumer material. Currently we do not offer components and findings, like peg heads, posts, and chains, from recycled sources due to limited availability. We are working with our suppliers to increase the availability of these components made from recycled sources.

Examples of Recycled Metal Sources

Consequences of Mining

Metal mining, and gold mining in particular, is one of the most environmentally destructive types of mining with 20 tons of ore required to produce enough gold for a single ring.

What We Can Do

We can choose recycled metals to decrease the global demand for newly mined gold. This will diminish the environmentally and socially destructive effects of dirty gold and other metal mining practices. Because precious metals can be recycled repeatedly without degradation in quality, they are a naturally renewable resource.


Choose Recycled Precious Metals to Protect the Environment and
Reduce Demand for Dirty Gold.

As part of our commitment to give back 5% of net profits, we have also donated to programs to reduce the environmental impact of gold mining, including training in mercury-free techniques. Learn more.