Although diamonds are supposed to be forever, it’s the human love affair with gold that has been truly lasting. For thousands of years, since even before the time of King Tut, gold has been prized for its beauty and value. It’s no wonder, then, that so much gold is sitting in jewelry boxes and central bank vaults. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 171,300 tons of gold have been mined throughout history. And that total is rising by about 3,000 tons a year. There’s nothing wrong with gold per se. The problem is that gold mining is extremely bad for the environment.
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