Eco-Friendly Recycled Metal Jewelry Guide
Choosing between solid white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, platinum or palladium is primarily a style preference. However, your recycled metal choice contributes to the value and wearability of your setting and should be a factor in the final selection. At MiaDonna every setting is created using only the finest eco-friendly recycled precious metals - solid gold, 950 pure platinum or 950 pure palladium from refineries that represent our commitment to the earth. Eco-friendly recycled metals you’ll love for their beauty and be proud to wear for their minimal impact on the environment.
What is eco-friendly recycled metal?
Eco-friendly recycled metals are gold, platinum and palladium that have been melted down to be reused. Unlike common scrap recycling, which can come from post-consumer products like technology, scrap waste metals and other sources, this kind of recycling is sourced specifically from metals that can be reused to make fine jewelry.
Why we use recycled metal in our jewelry
Gold mining is a dirty industry and is as unethical and outdated as mining for diamonds. Gold mining displaces communities, contaminates drinking water, hurts worker, generates heaps of waste, leaves a long-lasting scar on landscapes and communities, and contaminates ecosystems with toxic waste which results in widespread water pollution.
All our settings are manufactured in the United States and not overseas to ensure that they are well constructed, using more metal per ring than other jewelers with like models and are made under both environmental and ethical conditions. By doing this we can guarantee your jewelry to be conflict free and of the highest quality and integrity.
White gold is not white when mined from the earth. White gold is made up of gold that is mixed with other white metals - such as palladium, silver, zinc and nickel. Mixing gold with other metals is how its durability, strength and color are achieved.
- Overall durability and wear:
- 14K Gold contains a higher level of nickel alloy and is harder than 18K gold. Gold will wear over periods of time. White gold will yellow after a few years. Gold is more likely to chip and in some cases can lose metal.
- 18K Gold contains a higher percentage of gold in its make up. It will wear a bit faster than 14K overtime. 18K white gold will also yellow after a few years. Gold is more likely to chip and in some cases can lose metal.
- Maintenance: Gold will melt with minimal heat compared to palladium or platinum. All your gold jewelry can be repolished and re-dipped in Rhodium to give it a new finish. Nearly any qualified jeweler can refinish an old ring created in gold.
- Vickers Scale of Hardness Rating:
- 14K: White Gold 100 -165 (HV)
- 18K: White Gold 80 to 220 (HV)
- Make Up:
- 14K White Gold: 58.5% fine gold, 12% copper, 8% nickel, 6% zinc, and 4.5% silver
- 18K White Gold: 75% fine gold, 10 % copper, 8% nickel, 4.5% zinc, and 2.5% silver
- 14K: The least expensive metal offered. It’s also the most common among everyday consumers.
- 18K: Containing more gold than 14K, 18K usually is priced a couple hundred dollars more for an average size setting.
Yellow gold is an alloy that is created by combining gold, copper and silver. Did you know? White and rose gold require other metals in order to achieve their distinct colors, whereas yellow gold is the only type of gold that can be 24 karats or 100% pure gold.
- 14K Yellow Gold: 58.5% fine gold, 29% copper, 12.5% fine silver
- 18K Yellow Gold: 75% fine gold, 15% copper, 10% fine silver
Rose gold (not to be confused with red gold) has grown in popularity over the last few years. This pink-hued metal is comprised of traditional yellow gold and copper, which gives it, its beautiful color.
- Rose gold contains approximately 75% gold and 25% copper silver alloy
Platinum is one of the strongest and most durable metals used in jewelry and does not have to be mixed with other alloys for strength, nor does it need to be plated with rhodium to give it its bright shiny finish. Because of its purity, platinum is also hypoallergenic, so those with sensitivities to nickel do not have to worry about an allergic reaction when wearing platinum. Platinum is an excellent metal to use with very fine delicate settings that can benefit from its strength.
- Overall durability and wear: Platinum, when scratched or dented, will retain its metal unlike gold. Platinum will wear over time developing "Patina", which is considered by most to be a very desirable look. Patina is the sheen on the surface of the ring that is produced with time and age.
- Maintenance: Platinum, while very similar to Palladium, is slightly easier to work with and can be repaired or re polished without any problems. Again many people opt to leave their platinum pieces in the original condition waiting for the ring to develop its natural patina.
- Vickers Scale of Hardness Rating: Our Platinum 95 – 100 (HV)
- Make Up: 95.2% platinum, 4.8% iridium
- Price: Platinum is the priciest of all the metals and can easily double the cost of any setting originally priced in 14K gold.