I've been investing in gold for years, but I've never heard of ethical gold until reading about it in the NY Times. Ethical gold is either recycled or mined "responsibly."
These changes are partly coming about, people in and out of the jewelry industry say, because gold mining's environmental and social impacts have become impossible to ignore, especially in developing countries where political protests, corruption and displacement of indigenous peoples have often accompanied mining.
People who think they are helping the environment by buying ethical gold do not comprehend basic economics. Buying gold from any source increases demand and thus increases the price of gold, and higher gold prices encourage more mining operations.
Furthermore, I dispute the assertion that gold mining hurts developing countries; just the opposite, it pumps money into countries in Africa that have few other exportable products.
Message to liberals: you do not help the planet by wasting money on overpriced luxury items. If people really feel bad about their gold purchases harming the environment, they should fix the problem buy not buying gold. Better yet, they can take the money they saved and donate it to charity.