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4 Reasons Why Buying Pre-Owned Jewelry Is Better for the Environment

If you're concerned about your ecological footprint, you might wonder how you can shop sustainably, especially when it comes to jewelry. People are becoming more and more aware of how buying gold, pearls, or diamonds brand-new from a department or jewelry store is not environmentally friendly.
When you decide to shop for secondhand jewelry before buying new, you are making a greener choice that is better for the world, better for developing countries, and even better for your local economy. Here are four reasons why buying or recycling old jewelry is the better environmental choice. 
1. Reduced Mining
When you buy a gold ring or a diamond secondhand, you avoid adding to the market for new goods. You are buying gold that was mined years, if not decades, ago, with no new contributions to greenhouse gases, large mining pits, and poor working conditions for workers in developing nations.
Mining gold and other metals used in jewelry like copper and silver has a big impact on the environment. Most metal mines use solvents and chemicals to access the metals more efficiently, and these chemicals can leach into the soil and contaminate waterways. Machinery used to mine metals burns through fossil fuels, and animal habitats are destroyed as mines expand. 
Workers who mine these metals do not have the same protections as workers in first-world countries. They may work long hours, be children, or suffer health problems or injury because of the risks associated with mining. 
By always shopping second-hand, you keep precious metals from being thrown out. Even if you choose to buy a used ring or necklace and have it refashioned by a jeweler, you are still using metal that is already mined and circulating, instead of contributing to consumer demand for new goods. 
2. Lower Transportation Cost
The demand for precious metals and diamonds can affect the environment simply through the need to transport them all over the world. If you buy a diamond new, it was likely recently shipped from Africa, Canada, or another similarly mineral-rich country.
When you buy from a local jeweler who buys and sells pre-owned pieces, you do not contribute to the need for worldwide transport. You are buying from a local shop that purchases its goods from another local resident. The transportation cost in both wear and tear and fossil fuels is minimal at best. 
3. Preservation of Trees and Vegetation
Diamond mines rely on blasting in order to expose enough sub terrain for finding suitable stones. The blasting can clear acres of forest, clearing needed trees and leaving scars behind. Without trees, soil erosion accelerates, and the local topography changes. The land is less able to support vegetation in the future, and it is also less suitable for farming or food production.
Antique or vintage stones look just as beautiful as new stones. Sometimes, you can find cuts of older diamonds that are no longer available today, making your ring identifiably vintage — and no trees had to be harmed in order for you to buy it. 
4. Reduced Waste
Part of mining and finding gold and gems is that not all gold and not all gems are suitable for making jewelry. For every diamond that is suitable for making into a ring, earring, or pendant, four others might be discarded or cast aside. Similarly, ore that is not pure enough or that is hard to access or refine might simply be included in the rock waste of the mine. 

Since recycled or reused jewelry is of high quality without the need to re-mine the raw materials, you make a choice that reduces the waste of rocks and minerals. 

​ If you need to buy or sell used gold and jewelry, contact us at Lang's C & L Jewelry, Inc.