A recycled diamond is a diamond that has re-entered the supply chain after prior use; essentially, a diamond that is re-sold. These diamonds have already been mined, manufactured, marketed and sold. They are often re-introduced to the market via consumers looking to sell their diamonds for extra money, or as part of an estate, auction or equitable distribution after divorce. It is impossible to tell the difference between a recycled diamond and a brand new diamond, so the pricing is very similar.
Unlike other recycled materials like paper, plastic, and metals that are melted or broken down and re-formed into different products, recycled diamonds are polished and re-sold in their exact original shape or re-cut into a more desirable shape, which would cause a loss of carat weight so the value would be less. There are a number of companies that specialize in trading recycled diamonds.
Recycling diamonds is considered by many to be “green” since it promotes continued use of existing natural resources without further damage to the environment.
Buying a recycled diamond instead of a “new” diamond is considered an ethical way of manufacturing jewellery.
It takes about 1 ton of earth to be extracted to find a 1ct diamond. Some “conflict-free” Canadian diamond mines are often built in environmentally fragile ecosystems, have significant ecological footprints, and will significantly impact upon the caribou, wolverine, bears, ptarmigan and fish which provide food for native communities; in this type of circumstance, opting for a recycled diamond is the ethical choice.
A big advantage of recycled diamonds is that you know your piece carries history with it; once upon a time, this diamond had no traceable origin; how it came to market was never truly disclosed or even known. But now you are giving it a new story.
Recycled diamonds can be cheaper (not always, though). Despite what you may have been told, diamonds are not an investment, just like purchasing a new car is not an investment. We all know the second you drive a new car off the showroom floor, it starts depreciating; the same is true with diamonds. So when purchasing a recycled diamond you benefit from some else already ‘paying’ this depreciation for you.
You also have a chance to create your own family heirloom; you can begin your own engagement tradition of passing down your diamond to future generations, recycling it while adding to its love story each time it’s passed on. If you pair a recycled diamond with the recycled precious metals, you can have your feel good, eco-friendly engagement ring.
How to Identify a Recycled Diamond
Ask your family. There is a high likelihood that someone in your family will have a diamond they no longer wear or need. Shop estate sales or auctions. Look for diamonds in finished goods, not just loose stones. You can easily remove diamonds from necklaces, brooches, pendants and rings. Try the pawn shop or a refinery. You will be surprised by what you find!
Do you own recycled diamonds? We would love to hear your traditional stories and reasons for opting for pre-owned gems!