There has been reports on gold mines ruining acres of lands, habitats and places near by, like Yosemite National Park.
Some of the most known gold mining companies that have been pointed at in the last decade or so have moved people from their own homes and changed lives like the ones in Guatemala where Mayan people have been forced to move elsewhere.
And, from what I have read through studies, it is not a pretty picture what happens in those places in countries like Guatemala.
As of recent time, there has been fair trade certified gold mining companies where the artisan miners mine at a smaller scale those preserving the land around and them receiving fairly wages and working conditions.
The Fairtrade Foundation has set a list of standards for these type of gold mining companies.
Then, there is the Alliance for Responsible Mining that has been working in making sure that these standards are practiced.
Some of the differences between traditional gold mining and fair trade is that 10 percent is paid more for fair trade gold.
This is huge, and if it works out to change the way gold mining companies function it would benefit miners and the land around the mines.
Bolivia is a place where the fair trade certification is one of the first in working under these conditions.
In 2010, an approximately $137.5 billion was spent in gold jewelry around the world.
There has to be some “good” in order for a good amount of that chunk of money goes to doing progressive and honest ways.
Some of the miners work under such harsh conditions using many chemicals and mercury, which it is only hazardous to them but the environment.
More info can be found here.
This is just a start, a taste of where the gold mining ways is going, hopefully in the right direction, to protect our environment but most importantly the miners and the inhabitants of those places.
Read more on Bolivian fair trade certified gold mines.
A company that carries fair trade gold.
Paying a little extra gold jewelry is worth it. It might feel gold to walk around with a ring on hand, a necklace, a pair of earrings, that all have an effect on the miners, the lands, and the way the jewelry is made.