The extraction of gold ore from the earth is environmentally destructive, negatively impacting life at all levels of the ecosystem. Gold mining is highly invasive, requiring the displacement of 30 tons of ore to produce an ounce of precious metal. Clearly visible from space, open pit gold mining displaces soil and rocks over immense tracts of land, causing significant habitat destruction and erosion.
In addition to the disruption of the earth’s surface, toxic chemicals are employed in gold mining. Cyanide leaching, a technique for maximizing production of gold, poisons the surface and groundwater. In addition to environmental degradation, a lack of regulation of gold mining practices often results in hazardous and unhealthy conditions for the miners.
At Equinox, we use recycled gold. Recovered from various sources including manufacturing, unwanted jewelry, electronics, and dental crowns; recycled gold is refined to achieve the same level of purity as mined gold with far less waste. Most of the gold we use is directly recovered from jewelry brought in by our clients. When we require additional supplies, we supplement with Harmony Metals from Hoover & Strong, which are also 100% recycled.
Refining and re-alloying recycled gold produces 75% less waste products than does the processing of newly mined gold. Many measures are taken to protect the environment. All furnace and exhaust fumes are processed through a scrubber system that removes all harmful particulates, cleaning the air before it is released into the environment. The water treatment facility removes all harmful materials from the waste water before it is evaporated. Absolutely no waste water is discharged into the environment.
We encourage our customers to join us in recycling gold. Gold jewelry that is no longer of use to you can be either “upcycled” into fresh designs or evaluated for its precious metal content and credited towards any Equinox purchase.