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Having sustainably sourced gold is crucially important for us here at Ethica Diamonds, with the impact on people and our planet being at the core of everything we do. Although there isn’t currently a fully ethical way of sourcing gold, we offer two options that we believe to be the best options for your jewellery – Fairtrade Gold and Recycled Gold.

But you might be wondering, what is the difference between Recycled and Fairtrade gold and which should I choose for my ethical jewellery?

To help make the decision easier for you we have made this handy blog post to guide you through the differences and help you make the most informed decision. The quality of both Fairtrade and Recycled Gold is exactly the same (gold is gold at the end of the day!) so it is just a question of which aligns best with your views.

Simple table showing comparisons between Recycled and Fairtrade Gold

What are the comparisons?


Fairtrade Certified Gold was the world’s first independent ethical certification system for gold. The gold comes from small-scale mining organisations that are mindful of taking care of their workers and committed to minimise harmful impacts of destruction on the planet. Although still mined, fair trade gold ensures that the workers receive a Fairtrade living wage and also grants them a premium that they can invest in their own businesses and communities. It also ensures that the workers have good working conditions, health and safety regulations, safety when handling chemicals, women’s rights, no child labour and protection of the environment. This making Fairtrade Gold a much kinder alternative to regular large-scale mining organisations.

However, the gold itself is still mined and mining can never be 100% non destructive to our planet. But we are confident in assuring you that this is the kindest and most responsible option for mined gold, and unlike recycled gold we know where it has come from.

The Difference Between Recycled and Fairtrade Gold | Ethica Diamonds

Fair Trade Gold Rings


Then we have recycled gold, which is exactly as it sounds – repurposed gold that is melted down into grains and remade into new jewellery! Gold is virtually indestructable and so it makes perfect sense to recycle it, jewellers have been doing it for years. There is some controversy surrounding recycled gold, as it is very difficult to trace exactly where it has come from and whether the use of it has had much impact on slowing down the rate of gold mining. However, if you buy recycled gold you are not actively contributing to the gold mining industry, which is most definitely a good thing in our books!

We source our up to 80% recycled gold from Hockley Mint, our long-term trusted suppliers. We feel very confident in offering recycled gold as a kinder alternative to traditionally mined gold.

The Difference Between Recycled and Fairtrade Gold | Ethica Diamonds

Making jewellery using recycled grains of gold

Although there is no current perfect option for fully sustainable gold, these two are both excellent options in supporting a kinder future for gold. If you need any further advice on which precious metal to use then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us, we are always happy to help!

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