Gold Jewelry's Dirty Environmental Secret

Gold is a modern expression of love, and every Valentine’s Day thousands of shoppers browse boutique windows full of the stuff. Over 90 countries mine the gold that is fashioned into jewelry, with China currently topping the exporter tables (though as illegal exports are rampant in some countries, exact figures are hard to pin down).

South American countries are also major gold producers, particularly Perú, which ranks variously fifth or sixth worldwide. A global gold rush over the last d

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