The History & Legacy of Welsh Gold

Welsh gold is a rare and precious form of gold which is becoming scarcer by the day. There are only 3 mines in the world that have extracted Welsh gold. Clogau gold mine is one of those 3 mines that supplies this one of a kind metal. This mine is situated in North Wales in the Snowdonia mountain ranges. Welsh gold has a unique aspect than other sources of gold because it is has minerals of copper giving it a pinkish hue. Many of the gold mines have either shut down or been turned into tourist attractions because there is very little gold left. Throughout the years several members of the royal family have sought out Clogau gold to use in wedding rings.

As far back as 1923, The Duke of York had 2 rings made out of a single Clogau gold nugget when he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyn. Lady Elizabeth’s daughter who is now Queen Elizabeth II, also used this gold for her wedding ring. Thereafter using Clogau gold in weddings rings became the royal family tradition. Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, Prince Charles were some of the royal family members who followed suit. Queen Elizabeth II was gifted a kilogram of pure Welsh gold on her 60th birthday. Many celebrities have also been enamored by the uniqueness of this precious metal. In 2000, when Michael Douglas married Catherine Zeta Jones he bought her a Welsh gold wedding ring.

Because pure Welsh gold is so expensive to buy, it is often mixed in with regular gold so people have a touch of it in every piece. This is also how Clogau gold jewellery is manufactured. Most of the gold production from Clogau mine took place during the gold rush of 1862. Clogau mine continued provided a steady source of Welsh gold until 1911. During this period alone, Clogau mine provided 2,442 kilograms of gold. Since then it was reopened for small scale mining operations but they did not sustain because it became too dangerous and costly. There were plans to open the mine as a tourist attraction but even that was impossible because it was too treacherous. There are varying predictions of when the supply of this precious metal will cease to exist.

Because it is prized and valued so highly, each piece of Clogau gold comes with a certificate of authenticity. Most of the Welsh jewellery designs are inspired by Welsh symbols, landscapes and the language. The Sessile oak tree lives for approximately 300 to 500 years and is the national tree of Wales. Because the people of Wales consider this a symbol of their heritage, you will find the sessile oak acorns and leaves in a number of Clogau gold jewellery designs. The Welsh dragon and a number of celtic weaves are also other heavily used designs incorporated into this kind of gold. Popular Welsh phrases such as “Cariad” and “Am Byth” are inscribed on pieces of Welsh gold jewellery. “Cariad” is the Welsh term for love or sweetheart whereas “Am Byth” means forever.