Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

From the Pizzaro brothers, who pillaged Peru for Inca gold in the 16th century, to the modern-day Mponeng mine in South Africa, the deepest in the world, where the ghost miners illegally siphon off millions - the pursuit of gold has led to wars, insurrections, betrayals and bloodshed.

Matthew Hart charts a course through history and across continents to tell the story of the world's most coveted metal. Part history, part journalism and part economic analysis, Gold tells the story of a human obsession that shows no sign of abating.

In 2008, when the financial crisis rattled economies, investors inevitably resorted to the perceived safety of gold - and its price escalated from $800 to $1900 an ounce. This, in turn, accelerated the exploration for yet more gold.

Matthew Hart is a journalist, whose work has appeared in The Times, Granta, The Atlantic Monthly and The Globe and Mail. He has written two IMAX films, numerous TV documentaries, and appeared on CNN, Sixty Minutes and the National Geographic channel. His previous books include Diamond: The History Of A Cold-Blooded Love Affair, which was filmed as a documentary by ABC.

Abridged by Pete Nichols

Producer: Karen Rose
A Sweet Talk production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 21 Jan 2014 00:30


Role Contributor
ProducerKaren Rose
AbridgerPeter Nichols
AuthorMatthew Hart

4 Stories

4 Stories

Exceptional readings and dramas from 4 Stories.

Short stories to keep

Short Story Primary

The fiction podcast featuring the best stories from the UK's finest writers

Sample our books and authors Clip Collection

Clips of Books Content

Interviews, previews and reviews

Books website

Books home

Get closer to books with in-depth articles and radio & TV highlights.