Do you know who made your jewelry piece and what exactly it is made of? This is an aspect that has been important to WildWoman from the start – that’s why we love handmade jewelry and purchase directly from small producers. Jewelry items like this hold within themselves true craftsmanship and stories from real people, and we know that the maker has poured their soul in them.
Another facet that is becoming increasingly more significant besides people and their stories is making sure that by wearing beautiful jewelry we do not harm the environment. People have always had a special relationship with precious metals and jewelry. Metals such as gold and silver are valued not only for their beauty but also for their value - jewelry has been a carrier of worth that one inherits and has now also become an investment option. Regrettably, much like any other production activity, the mining of precious metals as well exploits the environment. For each average gold ring, approximately 20 tons of waste is generated into the world. Precious metal mining requires the use of toxic substances such as mercury and cyanide, polluting both breathable air and potable water. In fact, gold mining is the number one cause of mercury pollution ahead of coal-fired power plants.
Precious metal mining wreaks havoc on our planet - wishing to continue enjoying their beauty, we must look for more environmentally friendly mining and production methods. Silver is used in electronics and electrical equipment, coins, jewelry, tableware, and other items, and, considering silver’s many areas of application, recycling it is of utmost importance. We at WildWoman today are convinced that in jewelry production as well the best solution is to recycle precious metals that we already have at hand. That is why we have been actively looking for silver reprocessing options for some time now, testing a variety of methods and cooperation partners.
There are various ways for silver recovery, from among which companies that prepare silver for recovery each choose their preferred method. Some still use old-fashioned reprocessing methods such as melting silver and adding chemical compounds (mercury, ash, salt, or strong acids) to help dissolve metals that have been mixed in with the silver and separate pure silver from the metal mix. A simpler method that actually renders a better result utilizes electrical current to separate silver compounds from the mass of other molten metals. Thereafter, silver is sorted, melted, and taken into reuse. The properties of jeweler’s silver are not altered in this process.
Owing to the above technique, WildWoman today has achieved the capacity to manufacture and sell its own jewelry collections with zero surpluses, so to speak. All of our old reserves, damaged or returned items are reprocesses, i.e. recovered. This means that WildWoman’s jewelry generates practically zero trade surplus - all of our silver is recycled. WildWoman’s previous collection WildMe was to a large extent also made from recovered silver – items in the collection contained approximately 70% of recycled silver. We are now about to come out with a new collection that, owing to our environmentally aware partner jeweler, is made 100% from recovered silver (a no-no, we ourselves cannot supply all this silver to the jeweler - fortunately, collecting silver surplus is already a popular practice across the world:)). We are overjoyed to have been able to make this nature-friendly adjustment.
Recovering precious metals or any other metal comes with a number of advantages, among them lesser environmental impact and generation of less toxic waste into the environment. These are exceedingly important values for us. That is why we invite you to take a minute and think: do you know how, where, and by whom your jewelry item was made?