Goldsmith and AuTerra founder Ashley Heather in our eco-friendly jewellery studio and workshop


Take one part silver nuggets, one part roaring flame and what results is a lifelong obsession. It all started with that single crucible of shimmering, glowing metal. In 2010, armed with a fine arts degree and no clue about my next move I signed up for a part time jewellery course for no real reason at all. Twenty minutes in and I was filling out the paperwork to study jewellery design and manufacture full time.

This impulsiveness was completely out of character, and looking back, an even clearer sign that I had found, quite by accident, the craft I wanted to spend my life perfecting. Now for the problem; I am and always have been a passionate advocate for sustainability and grew up around and later was involved with amazing NGOs working towards social and environmental justice. I had seen first-hand what unchecked mining does to communities and landscapes and here I was about to embark on a career in one of the most fraught industries in the world. Ummm….

It seemed that the only way to bring my passion for sustainability and my newly discovered obsession with the craft of jewellery making together was to forge my own path. And so, I took the leap and started making jewellery using silver recycled from photographic waste in the unused half of my grandparent’s garage. The rest of our story is years of hard work, late night research and serendipitous connections.

We partnered with our e-waste refiner in 2015 and made our very first ring out of gold recycled from e-waste in the summer of that year. The first in the world at the time.

Since those early days we have grown into a small team of passionate hands specialising in minimalist jewellery crafted in precious metals reclaimed from circuit boards by a small refinery right here in South Africa. We believe in slow fashion, in mindful consumption, in style that transcends trends. Our contemporary designs are pared down to their essential elements; simplicity and quality craftmanship become as timeless as the materials themselves.

Our hope is to return to a view of jewellery as an heirloom worthy of passing down; not just of the object itself but also of a more just world for our future generations to wear it.

Recycled silver and gold jewellery displayed in the Auterra studio store, browse our eco-friendly jewellery collection whilst watching our goldsmiths at work
Ashley Heather (Founder)


Just the two of us…. We’ve gone back to starting principles, currently every piece you receive was made by one of these four hands in our Cape Town studio. The original dream team!

From left to right: Gilbert, Ash

Working with recycled, fairtrade gold and silver our goldsmiths handcraft all our jewellery in our eco-friendly Cape Town studio


The amazing team at our refinery works tirelessly to make sure our recycled e-waste gold and silver is of the highest purity. Like all ambitious undertakings, it really does take a community.

The team, clockwise from left: Stanley, Vongani, David, Happy

Recycling e-waste to reclaim the gold and silver is a zerowaste, sustainable approach to jewellery the ewaste is shredded and recycled to create ethical, ecofriendly jewelry