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Meghan’s wedding band will be fashioned from Welsh gold

Meghan’s wedding band will be fashioned from Welsh gold Meghan’s wedding band will be fashioned from Welsh gold .While everyone expects Prince Harry to slip a wedding ring on the finger of his bride-to-be Meghan Markle during their nuptials, the royal is unlikely to wear one.

Royal wedding rings worn by brides are traditionally made from Welsh Gold but very few men in the monarchy have chosen to put on a wedding band.

When the Duke of Cambridge married he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh,  and uncles the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex, who all chose not to wear the symbol of marriage.

By contrast royal brides have been given wedding rings made from gold nuggets from Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu in North Wales, and Meghan is expected to follow the tradition.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding ring – a plain, slim gold band – was made by royal warrant holders Wartski and fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold given to William by his grandmother the Queen as a gift to mark his 2011 wedding.

The custom of men wearing wedding rings is said to be relatively recent and is believed to have started during the Second World War when servicemen wanted a memento to remind them of their partners back home.

Its popularity increased as the decades passed and as it became more fashionable for men to wear jewellery like neck chains and bracelets.

In contrast to other royal men the Prince of Wales does wear a wedding band – under a signet ring on the little finger of his left hand.

There may be an element of social class at play for men who decide not to wear a wedding ring as those from the upper classes are said not to like jewellery.

The Queen Mother began the tradition of royal wedding rings being made from Welsh gold after the precious metal was used to make her wedding band when she married in 1923.

One nugget of gold was used to make the Queen Mother’s wedding ring, the Queen’s in 1947, Princess Margaret’s in 1960, the Princess Royal’s in 1973 and that of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.

The gold came from the Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu in North Wales. There is now only a minute sliver – one gram (0.035oz) – of the original nugget left.

But in November 1981, the British Royal Legion presented the Queen with a 36-gram (1.3oz) piece of 21-carat Welsh gold for future royal wedding rings.

The Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding ring was also crafted from Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine and the river Mawddach in the King’s Forest.

It was handmade in court style by Wartski and the precious metal was supplied by Cambrian Goldfields Limited.


Wales, with its dramatic scenery, is steeped in mystery and romance. Its majestic heather-clad hills cut by cascading waterfalls, and mountain streams rushing through gladed valleys are both the places of legends and of history running back into the mists of time.

Yet, beneath the quartzite surface of this jewelled landscape, there is another treasure, as valuable as it is beautiful – Welsh gold.

The songs of ancient Celtic bards, and archaeological records, affirm that Welsh gold has had a long and fascinating existence. Not only is Welsh gold one of the rarest precious metals in the world, but its reputation has taken on an almost magical dimension through time.

The tradition is presumed to have started by panning gold from alluvial placers in river beds, or near old rivers. By 75AD, however, large scale mining was already underway at Dolaucothi and from 1862 until 1911 the Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine near Dolgellau had produced 165,031 tonnes of gold ore resulting in 78,507 troy ounces (2,442 kg) of gold in what was known as the ‘gold rush’ period.

Today, Welsh gold is scarcer than it has ever been. When mining took place at the Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine in the late 1990s it used to cost over £1000 an ounce to extract.

With no gold mining taking place in Wales today, Welsh gold supplies may eventually run out, making it possibly the rarest gold in the world. Due to the scarcity of Welsh gold, only a small amount is included within each piece of Clogau. This ensures the longevity of Welsh gold supplies, and the affordability of Clogau’s jewellery.

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