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Tracking a Gadget’s Journey From the Mine to Beneath the Christmas Tree

Imagine you're in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Behind you is China, below you are thousands of tons of consumer goods destined for faraway ports, then stores, then maybe a spot beneath a Christmas tree. You are part of a vast economy that supplies the things we buy—a galaxy of cities, systems, and people that is…

There's $2.5 Billion Worth of Silver and Gold in Phones Sold This Year

Your gadgets contain tiny specks of precious and rare earth metals—we rely on these dust-sized particles, which are so small they're often not recycled because the cost of recycling outweighs the value of the metals. But according to the American Chemical Society, the overall value of these minute materials is massive.

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