A £1,000 wedding ring - equivalent to one ounce of gold - creates up to 30 tons of toxic waste.To obtain just that one ounce of gold costs the environment dearly. Most of the world's large deposits of gold ore are no longer and mining companies are left to leach out gold particles with a liquid cyanide solution, which is extremely toxic to all living things.
Cyanide is a toxic chemical - one teaspoon of 2 per cent cyanide solution is enough to kill a human being.Literal lagoons of cyanide are all that remains in areas where all the gold containing ore has been stripped from the earth. Spills from those lakes leak into the area, wreaking havoc on the environment.
All of this for us to satisy our thirst for golden trinkets. Is it worth it?