Upcycle or Recycle: Which is right for you? | Malleable Jewellers

Breathe new life into old jewellery

A few months ago, a client came to us with a problem. They had a beautiful opal ring that had been a gift from their grandmother many years earlier. The opal was cracked and, more importantly, the ring no longer suited their style. Rather than leave it sitting at the bottom of a drawer, they came to us. As they still liked the gold band, we precision cut the opal off and set new gemstones into the band—breathing new life into an old ring.



Reusing old jewellery is the most environmentally friendly way to make new jewellery. Yes, some new materials may be needed, but for the most part, very little is removed from the earth to create a beautiful new piece.


Upcycle or recycle: Which is right for you?



There are two ways to reuse the jewellery around you. The first is to upcycle, as we did with the opal ring. Upcycling takes an existing piece of jewellery and transforms it into a new design. It can be something as simple as replacing old gemstones in a ring or something as intricate as re-casting gold into a new custom design.

Why would you upcycle your jewellery rather than simply buy a new piece? Most people do so for sentimental reasons—it’s a way to keep the original piece close to your heart in a design that you actually want to wear. Maybe you have a dilapidated gold chain that has been in your family for generations, or your grandmother’s engagement ring that is way too large or too flashy for your taste — whatever it is, you can modernize and transform these pieces into a new design, allowing you to own a new piece of jewellery with a past.


The other way to reuse jewellery you never wear is to recycle it. Without sentimental value, an old piece of jewellery is simply something that is collecting dust. In these cases, we encourage our clients to trade in those preloved jewels for a credit towards new ready-to-wear or custom jewellery. We then recycle their old jewellery. Whilst it can be difficult to tell the origin of your precious metals and gemstones, by recycling them, we’re replacing what we take out of the supply chain, which avoids the need to further extract more. 


In general, we recycle most types of gold as well as precious gemstones—diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.


The environmental upside


It’s no secret that mining operations takes a huge toll on our environment and, in many cases, a huge toll on its workers. And both gold and precious gemstones are finite resources—we simply can’t continue to extract them forever.


What we can do is upcycle or recycle what we already have and no longer want. By reusing your existing resources, or replacing resources into the supply chain, you are working with us as we tackle the social and environmental challenges head on. You have options, let’s discuss them today.

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