Brand launches 50 wedding rings created with "100% Welsh gold".
Welsh jewellery company Aur Cymru has announced the creation of 50 Welsh gold wedding rings, made with "100% Welsh gold".
Owing to the scarcity of the metal, the limited-edition rings are being marketed as a chance for consumers to own a rare metal and an object of Welsh heritage. The 50 rings are being sold with RRPs upwards of £2,000, with each made by York-based designer Charmian Ottoway.
According to Paul Johnston, marketing manager for Aur Cymru, it has taken about five years for the company to accumulate enough Welsh gold to make the rings. While the company hasn’t discovered a new natural supply of Welsh gold, it has worked closely with supplier and award-winning gold panner Vincent Thurkettle, who has provided gold from his own stock, as well as small nuggets found panning the streams and rivers of North Wales.
Johnston said: "Vincent has been kind enough to supply us from his collection accumulated over a number of years. To supplement our supplies of Welsh gold we buy old jewellery made from gold produced by the former Gwynfynydd mine, near Dolgellau, which is fully evidenced as to authenticity."
The rings will be priced according to the amount of Welsh gold they have been made with, with the price impacted by the typical factors of ring size, design, profile and width.
"A typical [ring] weight would be three grams and we have sufficient reserves to make 50 rings of that average weight," Johnston told Professional Jeweller. "Should we find customers are demanding heavier rings then we may have to restrict the offer to fewer than 50 rings unless we can obtain further supplies."
After the refining process, the gold that has been supplied by Thurkettle or panned in the Welsh streams and rivers is typically 90% pure Welsh gold, with the residual 10% being normally silver and small amounts of other metals.
But Johnston adds that, because the purity of the gold tends not to be over 91.6% (the fineness of 22ct gold) the Assay Office is likely to mark Welsh gold rings made by Aur Cymru as 18ct. "So while 18ct usually refers to 75% purity our 18ct Welsh gold rings typically well exceed that percentage," he says.
The company is marketing the rings as a special way to seal a marriage, as so few people will ever own a Welsh gold ring. The business is targeted the public and does not intend to supply the rings at wholesale to other jewellery retailers.
Each ring will be accompanied by a full certificate of authentication, which includes the Welsh Maiden trade mark exclusive to Aur Cymru Limited, formerly the trade mark of the Gwynfynydd Gold Mine Company.
From 2015, the business will also offer couples the chance to make their own rings using Welsh gold, under the tuition of Aur Cymru’s goldsmith. Aur Cymru also makes wedding and engagement rings containing 5% or 10% Welsh gold.