According to a statement on the company’s web site, 71% of the silver and gold in Pandora’s jewelry already comes from recycled sources. Shifting completely to recycled silver and gold will reduce CO2 emissions, water usage and other environmental impacts associated with mining new metals. The carbon emissions from sourcing recycled silver are a third of mined silver, while recycling gold emits approximately 600 times less carbon than mining new gold, according to life cycle assessments.
Silver is the most used material in Pandora jewelry, but the company also uses smaller volumes of gold, palladium, copper and man-made stones.
“Silver and gold are beautiful jewelry materials that can be recycled forever without losing their quality. Metals mined centuries ago are just as good as new. They will never tarnish or decay. We wish to help develop a more responsible way of crafting affordable luxury like our jewelry, and prevent that these fine metals end up in landfills. We want to do our part to build a more circular economy,” said CEO Alexander Lacik.
Pandora says it will work with its suppliers to guarantee a sufficient supply of responsibly sourced recycled silver, certified according to leading supply chain initiative standards such as the Responsible Jewelry Council. Pandora will also engage with key stakeholders in the supply chain to explore opportunities for increasing the availability of recycled silver and improve production standards.
Today, around 15% of the world’s silver supply comes from recycled sources. More than half of the recycled silver comes from industry, where the metal is used in chemical production, electronics and for other purposes.
Recycling efforts must be combined with careful elemental analysis of the recovered metal to determine its exact chemical composition and to ensure the metal is free from contaminants or hazardous materials. X-ray fluorescence (XRF), a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine qualitative and quantitative analysis of materials, including precious metals, is a widely-used technology for this type of analysis. XRF analyzers determine the chemistry of a sample by measuring the fluorescent (or secondary) x-ray emitted from a sample when it is excited by a primary x-ray source. Because this fluorescence is unique to the elemental composition of the sample, XRF is an excellent technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the material composition.
Precious metal analyzers are especially useful in providing a fast, accurate, and most importantly, nondestructive method to test the purity and chemistry of all precious metals, including silver and gold.