In 1989 a local man named William Roberts made a very unexpected and exciting discovery – an abandoned gold mine in the mountains of Snowdonia. This was the Clogau St David's mine in Bontddu. Despite its disused state, he planned to transform it into a tourist attraction where visitors could pan for gold. However, the idea was opposed due to its location within the Snowdonia National Park, so instead, he decided to gamble on the idea that there would be some undiscovered gold still buried within the mine.To make bestuse of this precious gold, William used it exclusively to create jewellery of the very highest quality, beauty and originality, with Wales as his main design inspiration. But it wasn't until 1994 that the first range of jewellery emerged, which consisted of just five pieces that were sold through a handful of small gift shops near the Clogau St David's gold mine. Luckily by this time William had already amassed a significant amount of high-quality gold, and it is from this stockpile that most of the Welsh gold that we use in our jewellery today comes from.
The Clogau St David's Gold Mine
The Clogau St David's gold mine was once the largest and richest of all the gold mines in the Dolgellau area. It is situated in Bontddu, near Barmouth in Gwynedd, North Wales. After producing copper and a little lead for quite a number of years, the mine developed into gold production in the 1862 "rush" and continued as a major operator until 1911, during which time 165,031 tons of gold ore was mined resulting in 78,507 troy ounces (2,442 kg) of gold.
For over 150 years the mine went through mixed fortunes, with the gold veins being most inconsistent and difficult to locate. Since 1911 the mine has been re-opened several times for smaller-scale operations. By the late 1990's, however, the last train carrying Welsh gold from the Clogau mine clanked to a halt. In 1999 the mine was taken over and held by a local exploration company.
Our Welsh Gold Promise
Every piece of Clogau jewellery contains rare Welsh gold as used by some members of the British Royal Family for over 100 years. Welsh gold is famous for being selected to create generations of Royal Family wedding rings including those of Her Majesty The Queen, the late Diana Princess of Wales, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, HRH Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Anne, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, and most recently The Duchess of Sussex. This has made Welsh gold some of the most soughtafter jewellery in the world.
Clogau jewellery is guaranteed to contain rare Welsh gold. It carries a unique Welsh Dragon and “CG” mark, stamped during the creation of each Clogau item. Each piece is crafted using traditional jewellery-making techniques and painstakingly hand-finished to give the lasting pleasure which ensures the Clogau jewellery will remain as special as the day you received it, as it is passed down through generations.
1854: The Story of the Blend
Gold was discovered at the Clogau St David’s mine in 1854 and it became the richest and most productive gold mine in the Dolgellau gold belt. My father, Bill Roberts, acquired the Clogau St David’s mine in the mid-1980s and began a small-scale mining operation.
When I first visited the mine with my father, I saw the gold in its raw form. I was struck by the pale rose-yellow tone, unlike anything I had seen, a result of the copper that had previously been mined there giving this rose cast to the mine ore. This appreciation of the beauty of this unique shade is behind the creation of blend 1854. To celebrate 165 years since gold was discovered at Clogau and to celebrate our 30th anniversary, this unique blend is used in our limited edition anniversary rings and our Windsor wedding bands.