At Park City Jewelers, our commitment to sustainability and ethical practices extends beyond exquisite craftsmanship. Since our inception, recycling gold and silver for use in our unique jewelry designs has been a cornerstone of our operations, with over 90% of the metals in our creations being recycled.

This not only allows us to offer you significantly more value for your precious metals compared to pawn shops but also aligns with our dedication to environmental stewardship. When you choose to sell your gold and silver to us, you're engaging with a trusted name in the industry while contributing to a greener planet. This article delves into the history of gold and silver mining and the impactful process of recycling these treasured resources.

The Environmental Cost of Gold Mining

Gold mining's origins trace back to as early as 7000 BCE, playing a significant role in human history but at a considerable environmental cost. The predominant method, hard rock mining, accounts for the lion's share of global gold production. Astonishingly, extracting enough gold for a single ring requires the removal of 20 tons of rock and sediment, leading to massive open-pit landscapes that significantly alter natural habitats.

Moreover, the remnants of these mining operations are laden with mercury and cyanide, substances used in the extraction process, which pose a dire threat to aquatic ecosystems downstream due to erosion and runoff. Additionally, gold mining is a major contributor to atmospheric mercury pollution, releasing this odorless, toxic vapor into the air, where it can return to the earth's surface through precipitation, further endangering both environmental and human health.

Large open pit gold mine in Australia
Fine gold bar

A Glimmer of Hope in Gold Mining

Despite the daunting environmental challenges associated with gold mining, the United States has implemented stringent regulations aimed at mitigating its impact, making American gold mining some of the most environmentally conscious globally.

However, with the U.S. contributing to just over 6% of global gold production, the practices in other countries often lack the rigorous oversight seen stateside, even when the operations are managed by American companies. To address these global discrepancies, there's a burgeoning movement towards more sustainable mining practices, epitomized by the fairtrade and fairmined certifications.

These initiatives champion gold that is not only ethically sourced but also adheres to environmentally responsible extraction methods. For those looking to purchase non-recycled gold, opting for products certified as fairtrade or fairmined represents a conscious choice for both ethical consumption and environmental stewardship.

Recycling Gold and Silver

Opting for recycled gold and silver presents a sustainable path that significantly surpasses the environmental and ethical standards of even the most conscientious mining practices. The recycling process boasts considerably lower carbon emissions and water usage, eliminating the adverse environmental impacts and ethical dilemmas associated with traditional mining.

Sources of recycled precious metals are diverse, ranging from dental fillings and bullion to jewelry and consumer electronics. These metals undergo a rigorous refinement process at specialized facilities to extract and purify them. We then blend this pure metal into high-quality alloys, such as 92.5% sterling silver, 14K, and 18K gold, ready to be transformed into exquisite jewelry pieces.

It’s essential to recognize that recycled metals maintain the same impeccable quality as newly mined counterparts, with the added benefit of infinite recyclability without degradation in value or quality. This ensures that choosing recycled gold and silver not only contributes to a more sustainable future but also upholds the high standards of quality and beauty expected in fine jewelry.

Jewelry holding gold ring
Scrap gold

Understanding the Environmental Nuance of Recycling Precious Metals

Recycling gold and silver introduces a unique environmental dynamic, distinct from other recycling processes, such as that of paper. In the case of paper recycling, there's a clear inverse relationship between the amount of recycled material and the demand for raw resources—more recycled paper equates to fewer trees harvested.

However, the scenario with gold presents a complexity; its high value ensures continuous mining, irrespective of the volume of gold recycled. Consequently, recycling gold, while environmentally preferable, does not directly decrease gold mining activities.

This inherent limitation of precious metal recycling underscores a broader environmental challenge. While recycling significantly reduces the ecological footprint compared to mining, tracing the origins of recycled gold and silver is often infeasible. As such, recycled metals may originate from sources with questionable mining practices.

Despite this, recycling represents a step towards environmental responsibility, mitigating future ecological impact without amplifying past issues. It embodies a commitment to a greener future, acknowledging the intricate balance between valuing our planet and cherishing the timeless allure of precious metals.


At Park City Jewelers, our commitment to recycling gold and silver is unwavering, a principle we’ve upheld for over three decades. By choosing to recycle your precious metals with us, you not only secure a superior value for your items but also partner with a trusted name in the industry. More importantly, you play a crucial role in safeguarding our environment—a triple advantage that benefits everyone involved.

Interested in exploring the potential of your gold or silver items? Visit us in-store, reach out by phone, or send a message online. Our expert goldsmiths are ready to provide you with a complimentary evaluation and an offer that remains valid for five days, allowing you the flexibility to make an informed decision. Remember, while the intrinsic value of recycled pieces may not match their original retail price, the environmental and ethical worth is immeasurable.


430 Main Street Park City, UT 84060
Phone: Call or Text!

(435) 649-6550

Embark on a journey with us towards a more sustainable future, where the beauty of precious metals is cherished without compromising the well-being of our planet.

Woman wearing fine gold rings