Generation vs. Other Recycled Jewelry

At Generation, we are pushing the frontier of jewelry.

Our jewelry is not only sustainable -- Generation Collection is 24 karat investment grade jewelry, made from upcycled e-waste, that is carbon neutral, made in the United States and designed timelessly. 

Investment jewelry 

Most US jewelry is crafted from 14K (58% gold), 18K (75% gold), or 22K (92% gold) that loses most of its value the moment it is purchased. For example, rose gold is made from a combination of gold, silver, and copper. The most valuable rose gold pieces are 22K, which is only 92% of gold. When resold, this jewelry is only worth a fraction of its purchase price because the consumers were paying for the brand value and marketing instead of the intrinsic value of the jewelry. Low karat jewelry is a very profitable business. For more detailed information on how non-investment jewelry is a depreciating asset, read our Fine vs. Investment Jewelry post.

In contrast, Generation Collection is crafted from solid 24 karat gold. 

For instance, our Cross Pendant is crafted from pure 24 karat (99.999%) gold. Overtime, the value of this pendant will correlate with the market price of gold. Over the last 20 years, gold investments outperformed the S&P 500, Emerging Markets, and the US dollar. In other words, Generation Collection is jewelry that the consumers can wear and enjoy while investing. 

Investment jewelry is both beautiful and functional.

Metal supply chain 

Precious metals can be derived from recycling old jewelry, consumer electronics, and even solar panels. Currently, globally, about 90% of the recycled gold comes from old jewelry, and only 10% from e-waste. We are pushing to increase e-waste as a source of upcycled metals. This is where we can make the most impact.

  • E-waste is increasingly becoming an increasingly serious problem. In 2019, the world discarded a record amount of e-waste of 53.6Mt. That is equivalent to ~5,300 Eiffel towers being discarded in 2019. When not handled properly, e-waste becomes hazardous and toxic to human health and the environment. The long-term effects of e-waste are not pretty.
  • In 2019, only ~17.4% of e-waste was officially documented as formally collected and recycled.
  • Recycling metals from old technology is 50-300 times environmentally superior to primary mining. Formal recyclers also have better efficiency and waste control than informal recyclers. Because of that, our metals come exclusively from reputable and innovative high-tech recyclers in the US. 

Our precious metal supply chain is 100% sustainable, certified, ethical, and circular. 

Planting tree for carbon neutral jewelry

Responsibly recycled metals avoid 97-99% of environmental impacts in terms of energy, water, and carbon dioxide. A minimal amount of residue CO2 comes from the metal recycling, jewelry crafting and shipping. For example, the production of our Unisex Hexagon Ring emits only 6kg CO2 (while avoiding 434kg CO2). Generation offers the option to plant a redwood, mangrove, or fruit tree to offset the residual CO2 for $4-$6. These trees are a potent natural carbon sequestration strategy. 

Made in USA

Most brand jewelry nowadays is made in China or Thailand. There are very few American sustainable jewelry brands but they don't offer 24 karat designs. We are proudly pushing the frontier of sustainable jewelry by adopting and further innovating the highest standards of sustainability. And we are focusing on doing this here, in the US.

Design intentionality  

Our designs are intentionally timeless. They are designed to last and accrue value. We have studied thousands of years of design in order to find shapes that were gorgeous to the human eye many millennia ago. These same designs will stay relevant for hundreds of years in the future. The Generation rings you buy today will still be beautiful 200 years from now. We hope you find that as beautiful as we do.