From Archimedes’ principle to mass spectrometry, there are plenty of ways to test the purity of gold.
Two trucks transport gold ore from Barrick Cowal Gold Mine in New South Wales, Australia.
Jason Benz Bennee/Shutterstock
A gradual drawdown of gold mining is a critical step towards sustainability.
Jan Askeit / Wikimedia
Tellurium is a critical mineral for renewable energy – but little is known about its environmental effects and how it circulates in the wild.
Housebreakers are no less rational than the rest of us.
A group of Galamseyer, illegal gold miners, work in Kibi area, southern Ghana.
Cristina Aldehuela/AFP via Getty Images
A community centred approach is key to making headway in the battle against illegal mining
The Osun River has become turbid and unsafe for consumption - threatening its cultural and biodiversity significance. Photo by: Stefan Heunis/AFP via Getty Images.
The ability of the Osun River to support biodiversity is being threatened by pollution and can only be rescued if the contamination ends.
What Vladimir did next.
This is the first time a world currency has been pegged to gold since the Bretton Woods system ended in 1971.
Making sense of the reds and the greens.
Two weeks into the invasion, here’s what’s been happening so far.
The Ghanaian currency is facing its worst run of depreciation in years.
The Ghanaian currency is facing structural hurdles.
Mansa Musa, the king of Mali, approached by a Berber on camelback, from The Catalan Atlas, 1375.
Attributed to Abraham Cresques/Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Wikimedia Commons
Born in Blackness by Howard W. French is a towering work. It argues that, because of gold and slavery, Africa is central to creating the modern world.
The Magi’s latter two gifts to Jesus were natural resins that are becoming increasingly rare.
Trees that produce resin for frankincense and myrrh – used for thousands of years in healthcare, worship and trade – are facing collapsing populations.
US President Richard Nixon’s decision to end the US promise to convert dollars into gold changed the global financial system.
Nixon’s decision left the IMF without a clearly defined role. Under the leadership of the industrialised countries, it began to fashion a new more intrusive and ideological role.
Fool’s gold, or pyrite, is made of worthless iron disulfide, but can contain tiny amounts of the real thing. Using an ‘atom probe’, research has uncovered a new way gold atoms can hide in pyrite crystals.
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS) took this photograph of numerous gold prospecting pits in eastern Peru.
(NASA/SS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center)
NASA satellite images reveal the extent of gold-mining in Peru. This information can be used to shut down illegal mining and prevent environmental destruction and contamination.
While people may be familiar with precious metals, which are often at the heart of conflicts, there are also metals that are essential to good health.
Iron fights anemia. Bismuth relieves gastric problems. Lithium acts against depression and gold can treat rheumatoid arthritis. Metals are precious tools for good health.
Many countries in Africa are dependent on commodities export.
Ghana remains heavily dependent on primary commodity exports for foreign exchange earnings.
Most of the world’s electronics are not recycled, posing health and environmental risks.
Technical advances are reducing the volume of e-waste generated in the US as lighter, more compact products enter the market. But those goods can be harder to reuse and recycle.
The gold standard didn’t exactly lead to a golden era.
Athitat Shinagowin/EyeEm via Getty Images
While Trump’s nominee to join the Fed favors returning to the gold standard, an economist explains why the US and the rest of the world abandoned it in the first place.
In times of trouble people still turn to gold. What makes it a safe haven? Largely perceptions, based on its historical mystique.
Artisanal small-scale gold mining polluted this stream and deforested sections of the Madre de Dios area of Peru.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Small-scale gold mining operations in developing countries are major sources of toxic mercury pollution, using techniques that haven’t changed much since the California Gold Rush 150 years ago.