Welsh Gold: Will The Royal Tradition Continue With Markle's Wedding Band?
Image Courtesy of Shane Co.
(Kitco News) - As the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approaches, there is a lot of hype surrounding Markle’s wedding ring and whether or not it will be made out of the rarest Welsh gold.
For almost a century, the royal family made wedding bands out of Welsh gold mined from the Snowdonia’s Clogau St David's mine located in Bontddu, North Wales.
The tradition began in the 1920s when the royal family was given a Clogau gold nugget as a gift.
That nugget was used to make wedding rings for the Queen Mother in 1923; the Queen in 1947; Princess Margaret in 1960; Anne, Princess Royal, in 1973; and Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1981.
After the nugget was depleted and only one gram (0.035oz) was left, the British Royal Legion gifted the Queen with another 36-gram (1.3oz) Clogau nugget in 1981. The royal family used it to make wedding rings for Sarah, Duchess of York; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
And now, the tradition will likely continue with the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, which is set to take place on May 19.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have chosen to release three official photographs to mark their engagement. pic.twitter.com/apijm0axiV— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 21, 2017
The 21-carat Welsh gold is known for its higher purity in comparison to standard 18-carat gold. It also has a warmer yellow color and is a softer metal. Because Welsh gold is so rare, its value is usually five times as much as other gold nuggets.
Fans of the new royal couple found out earlier this year that Markle prefers yellow gold over all other styles.
During the couple’s televised interview, which aired shortly after their engagement announcement, Prince Harry said that yellow gold was Markle’s “favorite” when discussing his design for Markle’s engagement ring that features diamonds belonging to his mother Diana.
Around the same time, gold bugs got even more excited by the announcement that the famous Clogau St David's mine was reopening after 20 years of inactivity.
The mine was shut down in 1998 as amounts of the yellow metal in the ground were shrinking. It is now being revived by Alba Mineral Resources, which purchased a 49% stake in Gold Mines of Wales Limited.
There has also been much talk about the design of the ring itself, with all signs pointing to Markle choosing a pared-back, plain band, which will match her yellow-gold engagement ring.
“A delicate and simple yellow gold band will pair beautifully with a three stone engagement ring like Meghan’s but also consider a bezel set diamond band that can add an element of effortless cool,” said VP of Jewelry at Shane Co. Alicia Davis.
Image Courtesy of Shane Co.
The trend of yellow-gold wedding rings seems to be coming back, according to Davis.
“Meghan Markle isn’t the only new bride with a love for yellow gold. We have been seeing more and more brides across the country opt for the beauty and warmth of yellow gold for their wedding band and we think it’s a trend that will continue to grow” she said.