Clogau Gold Mine
Originally a copper and lead mine, gold extraction began at the Clogau Gold mine in 1854, when the then director of the Clogau copper mine, Mr Goodman, unwittingly discovered gold. From 1862 until 1911 the Clogau Gold Mine 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.
In 1989 the Clogau Gold Mine was re-opened by William Roberts, founder of Clogau Gold of Wales Ltd. Gold extraction re-commenced between 1992 and 1998, with small-scale mining providing the gold for Clogau Gold jewellery. Mining eventually ceased in 1998 due to high cost of mining and diminishing quantities of gold being found.
The small supply of gold extracted from Clogau and surrounding mines, combined with increased demand for Welsh gold both domestically and internationally have made gold produced at the Clogau mine amongst the most valuable in the world. Clogau Gold of Wales, who use gold sourced from the mine in all of their products have introduced the distinctive rose-coloured gold extracted from the Clogau mine to an international market.
The first major link between Welsh Gold and the Royal family began on 13 July 1911 when Prince Edward (the future King Edward VIII) was officially invested as Prince of Wales in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle on the fringes of Snowdonia, North Wales. The regalia used in the investiture of the Prince of Wales consisted of a coronet, a rod, a ring, a sword and a robe or mantle with doublet and sash and incorporated pure Welsh gold, identifiable by the Welsh dragon stamp. The investiture took place at the instigation of the Welsh politician David Lloyd George, who invented a ceremony in the style of a Welsh pageant, and coached Edward to speak a few words in Welsh.
The investiture of Prince Charles on 1 July 1969 at Caernarfon Castle, was an update of what had happened in 1911 and the regalia was used once again.
This very same rare Welsh gold has been used to create wedding rings for some members of the Royal Family since 1923. This tradition was founded by The Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, on her marriage to the Duke of York on 26 April 1923.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s wedding ring, from her marriage to The Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947 is crafted from a nugget of pure Welsh gold from the Clogau St. David’s mine. Other members of The Royal Family to have Welsh gold wedding rings include Princess Anne (1973), Diana, Princess of Wales (1981), Prince Charles (1981 & 2005) and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (2005).
The tradition of using Welsh gold in the wedding rings of the British Royal family was carried into its 88th year with the most recent Royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on 29 April 2011. Catherine commissioned her wedding ring to be made from pure Welsh gold.
A 2012 report conducted by Snowdon Mining Consultants on behalf of the current owners of the mine, Gold Mining Wales Ltd (GMW), suggested that as much as 500,000 ounces of gold could be lying untouched in the area surrounding the mine, giving hope that gold may again be extracted from the Clogau Gold Mine. Samples taken from a 200 metre long area returned gold grades of 30.2 to 263 grams per tonne, suggesting that previously unrealised supplies of gold could potentially exist.
- Darren Devine (2012-04-17). "Could Wales be sitting on gold reserves worth $200m?". Wales Online. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Ashcroft, Jamie (2013-02-07). "Stellar Resources shares soar on high grade Welsh gold results - Proactiveinvestors (UK)". Proactiveinvestors. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
- Photos of natural Welsh Gold from the Clogau mine
- Aditnow - Photographic database of Clogau Gold Mine
- "What Clogau gold rock looks like" (blog)
- Clogau Gold of Wales Ltd. Website