My clients often ask me what the gold looks like before it gets turned into a ring... I think they are picturing a tin bucket full of raw ore... hand delivered to me by a sweaty miner with a light on his hard-hat... or perhaps that I go and pan it personally out of a riverbed out west. (That's quite a nice idea, actually.)
I suppose it is in that form at one stage of its life, but this is how it looks when it comes to me:
Behold, several thousand dollars-worth of white gold, in one handy, portable... lump. Prrreetty exciting, huh?
We are lucky in Australia to have a supplier of 100% recycled sterling silver- silver gleaned from the photography and radiology industries, old cutlery and jewellers' scrap. This is all melted down, re-alloyed and turned into brand-new, shiny, mostly guilt-free metal for us to turn into brand-new, shiny, mostly guilt-free jewellery.
Hopefully a similar source of recycled gold will not be far behind. In the meantime, it's amazing how much gold people seem to accumulate- between broken chains, grandma's wedding ring and old birthday presents, sometimes this can be melted down and turned into a jewellery piece both fabulous and meaningful. And mostly guilt-free.