Gold has always been a rare occurrence in Britain even though this precious metal has been found throughout the country. Gold is believed to have been discovered in Britain thousands of years ago, but only a small amount has been mined to date. The largest deposits have been found in North Wales, Cornwall, some Northern Ireland areas, and Scotland’s southern uplands. Welsh gold, which is found only in certain areas of Wales, is known for its high value due to its scarcity. Welsh gold is also significant for British culture and the Royal Family. In this article, we will discover the secret of Welsh gold and its connection with the Royal Family.
How did it start?
Wales has always been the place with its dramatic scenery and mystery secrets. Despite all the amazing landscapes, there is another treasure – gold. Welsh gold mining history dates back to 2000 years. Celtic bards’ ancient songs and historical records show Welsh gold’s rich history and its magical meaning through time. It is believed that the tradition of Welsh gold started with placer mining from riverbeds or former riverbeds. Welsh gold occurs naturally in two distinct areas of Wales. One area is in North Wales from Barmouth, past Dolgellau, and up towards Snowdonia. Several and smaller mines are in South Wales in the valley of the River Cothi at Dolaucothi. During the period of the “gold rush,” the Clogau Gold Mine which is in North Wales produced 78,507 troy ounces (2,442 kg) of gold. One of the miners, who was obsessed with Welsh gold, once said:
“Finding gold in most mines around the world is like finding the cream in a sponge cake. Finding Welsh gold on the other hand is like finding the sixpence in the biggest Christmas cake you could imagine. There’s no pattern, no logic, and you never know when you’re just inches away.”
Welsh gold nowadays
Today mining has ceased in Wales, therefore Welsh gold is scarcer than it has ever been. However, tourists continue to find some precious yellow metal at the defunct mines. Actually, Welsh gold looks exactly the same as any other gold, but Welsh gold reserves may eventually run out, so this fact makes Welsh precious metal so valuable. In the late 1990s, the cost of this precious metal was about £1000 per ounce. On 28th November 2017, some lots of Welsh Gold sold for £44,000 but the expected price was about £9,000. The smallest 3g bits of gold, which had an expected price of £600-700, went for £4,000. Nowadays much jewellery is sold as Welsh gold. However, it only contains a small part of Welsh gold. Usually, designs are very beautiful, but you have to understand what you are getting.
Welsh gold and the Royal Family
Welsh gold has been traditional metal for Royal wedding rings since 1923. This tradition began with The Queen Mother followed by Lady Elisabeth Bowes-Lyon on her marriage to the Duke of York in 1923. After that Welsh gold was used in every wedding ring of Royal Family members. It connects different generations of the Royal Family making Welsh gold even more special. Members of the Royal Family follow this tradition ever since. It was a part of the Royal weddings for the 2011 marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, and most recently when Prince Henry married Meghan Markle in 2018.
So, Welsh Gold has a long history and its own role in British culture. Welsh yellow metal was not only a treasure for miners, but also a long lasting tradition for the Royal Family. This precious metal has no differences with any other gold, but the scarcity and connection with the Royal’s make Welsh Gold special. The only problem that Welsh Gold is sold as jewellery with a small part of metal. It means that you will not receive a true Welsh Gold especially for investment.