What Is Welsh Gold? Meghan Markle Is Boosting Its Popularity & Here's Why
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are quite a modern duo and grab plenty of headlines due to their penchant for breaking with tradition. But they kept things conventional when it came to Meghan Markle's Welsh gold wedding ring.
Sure, Markle's engagement ring made quite the splash since it was designed by Prince Harry and was sourced from the personal jewelry collection of his mother — the late and much-loved Princess Diana. Markle's wedding band may appear simpler but it's equally as captivating because of its backstory. It was crafted by Cleave and Company and the Welsh gold used in its creation was gifted to the pair by the Queen herself.
What, exactly, is Welsh gold and what is its significance? Well, it has a long-held history. For the past 95 years, it has been a royal tradition to have wedding bands fashioned from the family's stash of rare Welsh gold.
As PEOPLE reports, this tradition began back in 1923. Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the late mother of Queen Elizabeth, used gold sourced from Clogau St. David's mine in Bontddu, Gwynedd for her ring. The gold nugget was donated to the royal family and has factored into several high profile pieces.
The wedding band of the aforementioned Princess Diana was made from that same stash of Welsh gold. Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also used the royal family's supply of Welsh gold in theirs.
The Meghan Markle effect, which is basically what happens whenever the Duchess wears an outfit and it immediately sells out or fast fashion companies quickly replicate it, is being felt in the jewelry business because of her wedding ring. PEOPLE notes that recognition and desire for Welsh gold has increased dramatically since Meghan and Harry swapped vows in May of this year. Interest in this particular element was heightened when William and Kate wed, too.
As the Clogau website notes, Welsh gold can be identified as authentic via "the Welsh dragon stamp and other unique marks that denote a genuine piece of Clogau."
Welsh gold's history is long and deep. It goes back at least 2,000 years and occurs naturally in two distinct parts of Wales. It's is one of the rarest precious metals in the world and is therefore incredibly sought after. Currently, Welsh gold is as scarce as it's ever been. That makes Markle's wedding band even more priceless and exclusive. Not only does it represent her love for Prince Harry but it's also crafted from an exceptional and hard-to-procure material.
Here's another look at Markle's breathtaking engagement ring, which her husband put a lot of time, thought, care, and consideration into. The fact that he incorporated his late mother's jewelry into the ring speaks volumes to what she and Markle mean to him.
Here's an even closer look at that bling. What a rock, right?
As mentioned, Kate Middleton's wedding also boasts Welsh gold.
Middleton's engagement ring is no slouch, either. It features a gigantic, oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds. It also belonged to the late Princess Di, who was revered as one of the most classic and fashionable women in the world.
Both of Diana's daughters-in-law keep her close in spirit, courtesy of the engagement rings given to them by her sons. It's an extremely romantic and loving gesture. Both of the royal wives have carried on the Welsh gold wedding band tradition in their own way. They have such different personal styles yet remain connected through fashion, accessories, and tradition in an impactful way.