Gold has been the most sought after and the most precious metal. The main use of gold is in Jewellery industry (about 50% of new gold consumption) but it is used in other industries like dentistry and electronics as well. With the inset of Global recession and weakening of currencies, the investors are turning to gold as an alternative safe investment to save their wealth. This has led to an increase in demand for gold and has resulted in the record price of gold at $1904/ounce in August 2011.
China is the world's largest producer of gold and produced 345 tons of gold in 2010. It is expecting about a 10% increase in 2011 and is expected to increase it to 400 tons in next three years. Other major gold producing countries are Australia, U.S.A, South Africa, Russia, Peru, Indonesia and Canada. Gold production in Australia, Peru, Indonesia and Canada is declining and has declined by almost 80% in South Africa in last 40 years. Overall it is predicted that the gold production will fall unless new sources are found. In October 2011, Scotgold Resources Ltd, has been granted planning permission for a goldmine at Cononish near Tyndrum in Scotland. The mine is expected to produce around 20,000 ounces of high grade solid gold and 80,000 ounces of high grade solid silver.
However, there has been a great concern over gold mining. Gold mining has been cited as the dirtiest and the most environmentally hazardous mining process. Modern mining techniques can be extremely harmful to the environment because of the chemicals and equipment used in the process. Gold mining can result in contamination of drinking water, air pollution, and mercury pollution, destruction of pristine environment along with long term economic problems and health problems such as long term disabilities and respiratory problems. Also the temptation of finding gold has led to illegal mining where young children are illegally employed to carry out the hazardous job. Lately, there have been concerns over mining in Colombia which can possibly harm the ecological system that hosts a variety of flora and fauna and is a house to some of the endangered species and also over the Pebble mine planned for the headwaters of Bristol Bay in Alaska that would destroy some of the most productive salmon habitat in the world and harm the communities that rely on that salmon for food and jobs.
In light of these controversies we must make sure that the gold we use or buy is from responsible sources. Lots of big jewellery chains are signing up to the Golden Rules, a set of of social, human rights, and environmental criteria for more responsible mining of gold and other precious metals. The other way is Gold recycling.
Recycling of Gold is an easy process. It not only helps us in saving the environment but also helps the recycler in monetary terms. Everyone have pieces of gold jewellery be it necklace, earring or rings lying in our jewellery box that they no longer use or are out of fashion. There may be some broken pieces of jewellery which one has kept over the years only for sentimental reason or just because they don't know what to do with them. All that need to be done is to find a gold buyer. Generally all the jewellers offer the gold buying service or you can find one of the legitimate gold buying websites over the internet. You can also ask friends and family for recommendations and hence avoid being paid less than the market value for your gold.
Medha Kumar runs a jewellery business which specialises in manufacturing jewellery from your old unwanted silver, gold, platinum or broken jewellery. Alternatively he will come to you and pay you the top cash price in London. http://www.silvergoldintocash.com/