The Secret of Engagement Rings of British Monarchs
Wedding rings of members of the royal family of Great Britain have always provoked genuine interest. At the same time, jewelry itself does not differ by its exclusivity. On the fingers of the monarchs you can see sapphires, rubies and diamonds, stones that are present in all jewelry brands. The value of the wedding rings of the royal family of Britain is not in the stones that many couples can afford, but in special Welsh gold.
The tradition to distinguish engagement rings from Welsh gold for members of the British royal family was founded in connection with the wedding of the future King George VI and the Queen Mother Elizabeth on April 26, 1923. Then the engagement ring of the bride was made from a nugget of Welsh gold Clogau.
The history of the then very young company Clogau Gold began in 1854 with the mine of St. David. Its owner planned to extract copper and lead ore, but unexpectedly found small yellow glitter on an empty rock. By the way, in Wales gold was mined even during the Roman Empire, but it was the finding of gold traces at the St. David’s mine in the mid-nineteenth century that led to a “gold rush.” From 1862 to 1911, the mine produced 165 thousand tons of gold-bearing ore, of which 2,442 kg of gold was extracted. In 1998, due to the depletion of the breed, production ceased forever. At the moment, pure Welsh gold remains very little and it is used mostly to create jewelry of the British royal family. The only chance to get a unique gold was in 2017 – ten lots with bullion, extracted from 1979 to 1981, were auctioned at the Rogers Jones trading house in the Welsh county of Conwy. Since the wedding of the Queen Mother, Welsh gold has become a constant companion of all royal ceremonies in the UK. The ring of Queen Elizabeth II was cast from a rare precious metal, and diamonds for him were borrowed from the tiara of his mother – the Princess of Greece and the Danish Alice. The future Duke of Edinburgh himself drew a sketch of the ring, which was commissioned by the master Garrard. Wedding rings of Princess Margaret, Countess Snowdon, royal princess Anna, Princess Diana of Wales, Sarah, Duchess of York, and Prince of Wales and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are made entirely of Welsh gold.