While precious metals such as gold, platinum and silver are still being mined, a great deal of the precious metal in circulation comes from recycled materials. It is said that around one third of all the gold in circulation comes from recycled gold. Some of this is used for industrial purposes, but most goes into jewelry.
Fine gemstones are always being reused and recycled. Hard to find colored gemstones such as large blue sapphires and rubies are often seen in jewelry auctions and since being mined, some have changed owners many times. Families with jewelry collections will pass pieces down to the next generation; some of these items will be worn in the same way and others will be recut or reset into more modern designs. One famous example is Princess Diana's seven-strand pearl choker which features a large sapphire at the center. The sapphire previously belonged to the Queen of England and was mounted in a brooch. Recycled jewels were also once worn by Wallis Simpson in a Harry Winston emerald cabochon necklace. The emeralds had previously belonged to Sita Devi of Baroda and were worn in anklets. Upon seeing the necklace, Ms Devi remarked that the emeralds had looked good on her feet. The necklace was promptly returned.