JEANETTE PAVINI’S BUYER BEWARE [from MarketWatch]
By Jeanette Pavini
Award-winning broadcast journalist and author Jeanette Pavini writes the Buyer Beware column for MarketWatch and wants to hear your stories, questions, problems and complaints. Write to her at BuyerBewareMKTW@gmail.com .
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Gold has been one of the greatest investment stories of the past decade, and its safe-haven appeal is likely to continue, with demand remaining solid for physical gold and gold jewelry. But regardless of the price gyrations in gold futures and demand, do we really know what the cost of gold is in human terms?
The surge in demand for physical gold has not only polished the fortunes of large mining companies, but has also driven a modern-day gold rush: The United Nations estimates there are between 15 million and 20 million gold miners in more than 70 countries worldwide.
What consumers need to be aware of is where the gold GLD -0.07% and gold jewelry they purchase originates from. For the most part, gold comes from large-scale industrial mining operations which require skilled labor. Large mining operations in developing country can spur economic growth for the region.
But some artisanal and small-scale mining operations, known as ASMs, operate in poorer regions and places where child exploitation and human trafficking is common. Read more