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A standard 18k gold band leaves behind 20 tons of ore and waste rock. It can also lead to toxic mine drainage, the biggest environmental concern associated with gold-mining. Mine drainage is a problem in gold extraction.  Gold is often found in rock that contains acid-generating sulfides and gold mining produces more unwanted rock than mining other minerals.

 

Large scale gold operations begin by processing ore by roasting it, which can release mercury into the atmosphere. Same result with coal-burning power plants. These operations are the #1 source of mercury releases to the environment. The extraction process is usually finished off with dousing the ore in cyanide. But cyanide degrades fairly quickly compared to mercury which never degrades. The issue, is that by using cyanide, it allows the mining companies to go after very low grade ore-allowing them to dig up more earth to produce the same amount of gold which produces huge amounts of “tailings” toxic material that is the aftermath of processing the ore. Tailing ponds and piles are full of contaminants such as arsenic, antimony, residual cyanide and mercury, and stay toxic for centuries. 

 

Leaches these toxic compounds into the environment

This toxic waste never biodegrade, creating permanent toxic hazards at disposal sites.

Toxic heavy metals.

The Lihir gold mine in Papua New Guinea dumps over 5 million tons of toxic waste into the pacific ocean every year destroying marine life.  180 million tons of toxic waste is dumped into rivers, lakes and oceans every year. 3,500 dams are built to hold mine waste with 1-2 major spills occurring every year. 

 

Acid mine drainage. 

 

20 tons of toxic waste/.0333 ounce gold ring.

 

 

 

 

SILVER: only 1.5 oz of silver is created from 100 pounds of ore with the use of mercury.

DIAMONDS

 

Most diamonds come from large industrial mines. Most colored gemstones - sapphires, rubies, emeralds-come from small-scale digging sites.

 

Social and environmental impacts

 

Big mines can disturb large areas of land and affect biodiversity in drastic ways. Large quantities of water for gem processing, and producing large amounts of waste rock contributing to acid-rock drainage. A standard diamond engagement ring requires the removal of 2-400 million times it’s volume in rock.

 

  • All gold and gemstones are responsibly and ethically sourced, and made out of recycled materials.

  • All charms are individually handmade, and hand engraved—each possessing their own unique qualities and character.

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