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We use a combination of recycled and new materials, depending on the requirements and supply. We recycle all of our studio scrap and excess for reuse, and where possible we use recycled metals, working solely with jewellery suppliers who are committed to sustainable environmental practices such as those who refine locally and also recycle their own scrap.
To create conscious and sustainable jewellery, we have established strong relationships with like-minded, compliant and accredited suppliers who value similar production principles and support our strive for transparency within the supply chain.
We use a combination of recycled and new materials, depending on the requirements and supply.
Recycled vs Mined
SILVER The silver that we use is 100% recycled Australian Sterling Silver.
RECYCLED GOLD 70% of the gold that we use is recycled Australian gold.
MINED GOLD 30% of the gold that we use is newly mined. Of that figure 86% is confirmed as Australian mined, the remaining 14% being blended. This portion is generally made up of our clasps, earring backs, findings etc. In the nature of transparency, it’s very difficult for us to establish a direct origin of material for that 14%, given that these elements are manufactured generally by a third party. They are, however, sourced through the same accredited and compliant supplier as all other materials and are still purchased with the confidence that the manufacturing process complies with our production values.
CHAINS & FINDINGS Our chains and necklace clasps are made in Italy from recycled gold and silver. This material is sourced through Swiss refineries and is of mixed origin. All other findings, including jump rings, earring posts and backs, are made from Australian gold and fabricated in Australia.
Why is our gold not 100% recycled?
We are continuously driving the percentage of recycled gold in our pieces closer to 100%. Due to the complex nature of materials and relevant behavioural properties, coupled with our specific jewellery designs, it is not yet feasible for us to use entirely recycled gold across all pieces. There are also limitations that we face when working with suppliers that produce specific components, such as chain and findings, as not all manufacturers have the ability to facilitate the refining and recycling of materials as part of their production processes.
While we continue to work towards improvement and progress in this area, at this stage we are satisfied with the large majority of our mined gold originating from within Australia given the strict compliance regulations around the mining and refining of precious metals, as well as fair trade and safe workplace conditions.
Recycling our materials
From metal cut-offs to metal dust particles, at NMJ we are fastidious about recycling this material and incorporating it, wherever possible, into our jewellery designs.
It’s not only large swatches of metal that are collected for recycling at NMJ. With each piece we craft we carefully collect the residual lemel – gold dust and raw material scraps – for repurposing. As the jeweller works, a “skin” hangs from their bench to catch the lemel and similarly, the jewellers benches are cleaned daily to salvage any remaining particles or materials. You would be surprised at the surface area gold dust particles can occupy.
The second phase of our metal recycling process sees the gold dust and raw materials melted down for reuse. Here, we collate the lemel alongside any larger cut-offs or ‘mistake’ pieces, and melt it down together into a bar that is then rolled out into a wire, ready to be harnessed into its next iteration.
The final phase of our metal recycling series is the most gratifying – reintegration. Conscious creation and circular processes are front of mind at NMJ, and by keeping off-cuts of wire, sheet or discs in our studio, we’re able to harness them for repairs or for when resizing a design. By incorporating the off-cuts into our new pieces we’re able to reduce our wastage and imbue your personal heirlooms with mindful additions.