The quick answer: Many goldsmiths use 50% new gold and 50% recycled gold (aka scrap gold bought from someone else). Read more to find out why this should or shouldn't bother you.
New gold vs Old gold - Recycling
The majority of goldsmiths out there will buy someone's else scrap gold. We take it to the refiner for a credit and recuperate some costs. Often jewellers will save the gold they bought and re-use up to 50% of it in each new piece they make. It's cost effective and it's better for the environment, it's recycling!
Why would I want to reuse old gold?
Old gold can, and should be used for one great purpose, holding on to memories. When a family member passes on a piece of heirloom jewellery, it has a lot of meaning, a lot of memories. We can re-use that gold in a new piece so that you can cherish those memories in a newly designed piece of jewellery. Many jewellers will only be able to use 50% of your sentimental gold. This is because when we use more than 50% old gold, we run the risk of pitting (micro bubbles inside the gold that weaken your piece) due to the alloys used in the mixture. At Bruce Trick Jewellery, however, we can re-use 100% with no risk of pitting. How? For a small fee we send your gold to be refine down to pure. We can refine any amount over 1 gram. That way we can re-use all of your sentimental gold and not just give you credit for it.
"we can re-use 100% with no risk of pitting"
Did I overpay for my gold?
The short answer, probably not. But it's always good to ask your jeweller for the complete breakdown of costs. Any good jeweller or goldsmith will gladly share their pricing information. You should know what you are paying for. Lastly, please do not think gold price should equal the price of you piece of jewellery. Just like any craftsperson or trades person, goldsmiths went to school to learn their profession. They spend hundreds of hours perfecting their craft and honing their skills. That is what you are paying for when you buy a custom piece of jewellery.