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We use the same gold that has been used in generations of royal family wedding rings
Welsh gold is so precious that a single nugget of it has been used to create wedding rings for generations of the British Royal Family, a tradition that began with the Queen Mother in 1923.
In 1911, at the investiture of Prince Edward of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, the regalia used (which consisted of a coronet, a rod, a ring, a sword and a robe or mantle with doublet and sash) incorporated pure Welsh gold, identified by the Welsh dragon stamp. The regalia were later re-used at Prince Charles's investiture at Caernarfon Castle, in 1969.
The British Royal Family has been using pure Welsh gold to create their wedding rings, since 1923.
This tradition was founded by The Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on her marriage to the Duke of York on 26th April, 1923.
Members of The Royal Family to have Welsh gold wedding rings
• 1923 The Queen Mother's marriage to King George VI
• 1947 Queen Elizabeth II marriage to Prince Phillip
• 1960 Princess Margaret’s marriage
• 1973 Princess Anne's marriage
• 1981 The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles
• 2005 Prince Charles's marriage to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
• 2011 Catherine Middleton's marriage to Prince William
A donation of a kilogram of Clogau Welsh gold was made to The Queen on her 60th birthday in 1986, who also wears a wedding ring of pure Clogau Welsh gold.
The tradition was recently upheld into its 88th year with the Duchess of Cambridge who chose a pure Welsh gold wedding ring on her marriage to Prince William, now Duke of Cambridge.
It is a touch of this very same rare Welsh gold that is contained within each piece of Clogau jewellery, making it some of the most exclusive jewellery in the world. The content of Welsh gold can be identified by the Welsh dragon stamp, and other unique marks that denote a genuine piece of Clogau.
Saturday 20 November 2010
SKY NEWS REPORT: Will the Royal couple go for Welsh gold?
Also published on the Sky News website
Transcript of SKY NEWS report...
They will one day be Prince and Princess of Wales and the chances are, the weddings rings that Prince William and Kate Middleton will exchange this year will be made from pure Welsh gold.
Ever since the Queen Mother's marriage to King George VI in 1923 rings for Royal weddings have been made from the same two ingots of gold extracted from the Clogau Mine in Snowdonia.
The company that owns the mine says it has had no official communication yet with Buckingham Palace but is hoping that William and Kate will keep the tradition alive.
Ben Roberts, managing director of Clogau Gold:
"The Royal Family have been given, as far as I know, 2kg of gold - 1kg in the early 1900s, then again in the 1980s to celebrate the Queen's 60th birthday. Now, that ingot that they received in the 80's I believe they probably still have quite a lot left because of course there aren't that many weddings in the Royal Family. I'd be confident to say they have more than an adequate enough supply to allow Prince William and Kate Middleton to craft their weddings bands from that kilo."
The most recent Royal couples to have Clogau gold wedding rings are the Earl and Countess of Wessex and the current Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.
Because Welsh gold is six times more expensive than say, South African gold, typically it is mixed with other gold bullion for sale on the high street. Even still, rings like these will cost you up £7000. Because Royal wedding rings are traditionally made from pure Welsh gold, especially given the high gold price at the moment, Kate and William's rings might just be the most valuable wedding rings in history.
Dickie Arbiter, Royal Commentator for Sky News:
"What's quite interesting in that with each generation and each Royal marriage it's bringing the past into the present and taking it on into the future. So it's a rather nice tradition introduced by the late Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother."
The Clogau Mine closed 12 years ago because the gold was costing too much extract. With gold now fetching around £1000 per ounce there's a possibility it will re-open. Otherwise, reserves are due to run out in six years time.
It's been part of Royal tradition for nine decades, but future Royal brides and grooms may have to settle for less than pure Welsh gold.
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