Atkinsons Bullion & Coins
Back to February 2019

Did you know that precious metals are some of the most highly recycled items in the world? A surprisingly large amount of the annual gold consumption is actually made from recycled gold. So, does this mean us investors are helping to save the planet?

How Much is Recycled?

In today’s world, awareness of the impact of climate change is increasingly inescapable, and issues such as sustainability and recycling are high on much of the world’s agenda. One way we as investors could be contributing to helping our planet is through our precious metals.

You’d probably be surprised to find just how much of your gold, silver and platinum is actually recycled, as demand often requires more than is newly mined. According to the World Gold Council, gold mine production accounts for around 75% of available gold each year - the rest is made up from recycling. Silver recycling is a little lower as, due to its relatively low price in comparison, is more likely to be thrown away or lost.

How are Precious Metals Recycled?

Precious metals such as gold, silver and platinum are classed as non-ferrous metals, which means they don’t lose any of their physical or chemical properties during the recycling process. This process can then be repeated as many times as required. If you look into it, it’s quite incredible where precious metals can be found, as they have a multitude of uses in our everyday lives: not only bullion bars and coins, but also no longer worn jewellery, dental gold, and even many modern technological products.

The recycling process goes something like this: the metals are inspected and separated before they are shredded into smaller pieces as needed. The metals are then melted in a furnace designed for each specific metal, as each metal requires a different temperature. A purification process is then undertaken to ensure the newly produced metal is free from any contaminants, and is of the required purity, and then the metal is cooled and solidified. The last stage of the process is the moulding of the metal into the finished product – your bar or coin.

Helping the Planet, & Your Pocket

Recycling precious metals from bars, coins and jewellery is relatively easy. Due to the ease of recycling, gold has always been recycled and therefore there is no actual consumption of the product – ownership is merely transferred from one ‘owner’ to another. Who knows where the gold in those sovereigns you have could have come from? Royalty? Ancient Rome? Who knows?

Recycling is no doubt environmentally friendly and helps the future of our planet. The recycling of our old precious metals rather than mining the new, means there is no extravagant use of heavy machinery emitting exhaust fumes, no dammed-up rivers, no forests felled, or mountains removed to make way for gold mining. The recovery of old precious metals, and re-melting it in refineries, means far less damage to the environment.

Many places that sell gold and silver, such as ourselves, will also buy coins and bars back from you. This not only includes gold and silver bullion coins and bars, but also scrap gold and silver which may in turn go back into the system, to be recycled and made into brand new coins and bars. And around and around the wheel keeps on turning.

Precious metals recycling – helping to save the planet, and your pocket, one gold coin at a time.

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This blog represents one person’s opinion only. Customers should conduct their own research and take advice before making an investment. We do not offer investment advice.


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