All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

As I was going through my RSS feeds I stumbled  across this fascinatingly beautiful post simply entitled: Gold a news story told predominantly through a series of striking photos. The post published on, looks at how the pursuit of gold has become so central worldwide, an obsession that extends far past just the sporting world.

“The pursuit of gold medals has athletes and fans focused

on the Olympic games in London,

but the pursuit of gold is a worldwide obsession

that extends far beyond the realm of sport.”

– Lane Turner

Worldwide there are million of miners dredging, mining and panning in operations of varying sizes, these procedures often putting miners at great risk. The processing of gold using cyanide and other chemicals creates very dangerous environmental hazards, the chemicals incredibly toxic to humans.  And whilst the results are undeniably beautiful, one can’t help but wonder is gold in all its glistening beauty really worth it? The more I think about it, the more I find myself doubting whether it really is.

The magnificent, illustrative photos below, just a few from the photographic story “Gold-The Big Picture” on; which truly capture people going for gold and all the risks and glory which come with it.

A small-scale miner holds his gold that was melted together at a processing plant north of Ulan Bator on April 5, 2012. Mongolia is home to some of the world’s biggest unexploited mineral deposits, and has become one of the hottest destinations for billions of dollars of mining investment. (David Gray/Reuters)
The gold and copper mine of US giant Newmont in Indonesia’s Sumbawa island dominates the landscape in a file photograph from April 4, 2007. (Sonny Tumbelaka/AFP/GettyImages) #
Polluted water flows from an abandoned gold mine in Rosia Montana, Romania on September 20, 2011. A Canadian company wants to build a controversial open pit mine that would use large amounts of cyanide. (Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/GettyImages) #
The cloudy spots on an undated chest X-ray show the effects of silicosis on a gold miner. In 2011, South Africa said gold miners with silicosis could sue for compensation, and thousands plan to do just that. (NIOH/NHLS/Handout/Reuters)
Residents inside a funeral parlor in Pantukan, Philippines look at the body of a girl killed in a landslide in a remote small community of gold prospectors on January 5, 2012. At least 25 people were killed and about 100 others were missing. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Papuan villagers gather in a river to pan for gold after sludge containing gold leaked from a pipeline of US mining giant Freeport-McMoran in Kwamki Lama, Indonesia. Striking Freeport workers said the leak was due to corrosion and were demanding at least an eight-fold increase in the current minimum wage of $1.50 an hour. (Tjahjono Eranius/AFP/Getty Images) #
] An employee of KCM pours molten gold while reprocessing it near Plovdiv, Bulgaria on October 20, 2011. (Stoyan Nenov/Reuters) #
Gold bars are displayed at a jewelery shop in Chandigarh, India on May 8, 2012. India is the world’s biggest buyer of bullion. (Ajay Verma/Reuters) #
Buddhist monks pray as worshippers put gold leaves onto a seated Buddha image at the Mahamuni temple in Mandalay, Myanmar on February 4, 2012. (Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images) #
A client whose face is covered with gold is seen at the Viet My beauty salon in Hanoi on February 13, 2012. Viet My is one of a small number of salons in Vietnam that provides 24k gold leaf face mask therapy, said to help make skin whiter. A single facial costs 1.8 million Vietnam dong ($86.41). (Kham/Reuters) #
South Korea’s Oh Jin Hyek bites his gold medal during the victory ceremony for the men’s individual archery event at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on August 3, 2012. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)#

So what is your verdict? Is the world’s obsession with gold justified? Is it essential to society? And is gold in all its glittering glory really worth endangering lives and our environment?



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