Digging Up the Dirt on Gold

Diamonds have lost some of their sparkle due to their links to bloody wars and slave labor, and now gold is losing some of its shine. Earthworks’ “No Dirty Gold” campaign is trying to get big jewelers to clean up their act, and is exposing the ugly truth behind the typical gold ring.

80% of gold mined in the U.S. is made into art or jewelry.

Mining the gold to make one 1/3-ounce 18-karat ring produces at least 20 tons of waste.

Those emissions include 5.5 pounds of lead, 3 pounds of arsenic, almost 2 ounces of mercury, and 1 ounce of cyanide.

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Cleaning up American gold mines will cost taxpayers up to an estimated $6.4 billion.

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