Frequently Asked Questions
What is Welsh Gold?
Gold has been mined in Wales for thousands of years. Roman exploitation of the ore at Dolaucothi is well documented and can be dated back to 74AD but it is certain that the Celtic peoples of Wales were also extracting this precious metals from the hills and rivers of North and mid-Wales.
Welsh Gold has had a strong association with the British Royal Family since Victorian times in particular. The Windsors have their own reserve of Welsh Gold which they use for themselves on appropriate family occasions. Welsh Gold commands a significant premium to regular gold, so much so that to produce pure Welsh Gold jewellery at this time is prohibitively expensive.
Here at Rhiannon, our special certified Rhiannon Welsh Gold alloy contains a guaranteed 10% Welsh Gold, to the best of our knowledge we are the only jewellers in the world who currently produce jewellery with such a high – or if any significant – Welsh Gold content.
We also produce pure Welsh Gold wedding and engagement rings as bespoke pieces on application but these are invariably extremely expensive, comfortably selling at five figure sums.
In the 1980's, when the Gwynfynydd gold mine in Mid Wales was active, only three goldsmiths in Wales were licensed to produce jewellery with this most precious of metals, Rhiannon was one of these and she has worked with Welsh Gold ever since. When the Gwynfynydd mine closed Rhiannon invested heavily to acquire the remaining stock of Welsh gold bullion from the mine. More recently, the company acquired the entire remaining bullion supply from the only individual to hold an official Crown prospecting licence throughout the late 90’s and up to the end of 2008.
We are unaware of any extant prospecting licence at this time but we do understand that moves are afoot to assess the potential for commercial exploitation of Welsh Gold reserves with gold so highly valued on the international commodity market.
Is it different to any other gold?
Not significantly, gold is a stable base element and has the same atomic structure wherever it is found, however, there are minor differences in the composition of the processed metal which can indicate its geographic region. Once processed Welsh Gold is indistinguishable from other gold using normal physical and chemical tests and can only be distinguished by its isotopic composition. One of our staff here likes to draw the comparison with French wine and the importance of 'terroir' - all wine is basically fermented grape juice but there is only one Chateau Petrus.
Here at Rhiannon, we add further value to our items by hand finishing them at our workshops in Tregaron, creating exclusive limited edition pieces and ensuring that each and every single Rhiannon design is an original and unique to the Rhiannon name. A special certificate of authenticity is provided with every piece made from Rhiannon Welsh Gold.
Who are we?
We are a small family company set in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains in Wales. We have specialised in the design, creation and production of luxury jewellery items in silver, 9ct Gold,18ct Gold and Welsh Gold since 1971. All of our designs are original and unique. Rhiannon herself continues to design and produce the vast majority of Rhiannon Jewellery but two of her sons and a son-in-law are also heavily involved in running the company today.
We offer a wide array of original and modern designs inspired by our living Welsh and Celtic culture here in Wales. Originality is a core brand value for us. Our dedication, personal service and very high production standards have helped us achieve an international reputation. This is built on a strong foundation of brand integrity and a refusal to compromise the quality of our work. We firmly occupy the premium end of the market in genuine Welsh Gold jewellery as well as specialising in customised, bespoke, designer pieces for individual customers and corporate clients. Rhiannon herself has been designing and making unique and beautiful jewellery in the heart of Wales for over 40 years. During that time she has created pieces for customers as diverse as President Jimmy Carter, The Prince of Wales, the Crown Princess of Japan, the Archbishop Of Canterbury and Archbishop Desmond Tutu - the list goes on!
Do you deliver everywhere?
Yes, we do... We have many happy customers in Australia, Germany, France, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland and the United Kingdom as well as many other locations worldwide.
As a rule, we use Royal Mail Signed For Special Delivery for UK deliveries and Royal Mail International Signed For for our world-wide shipping. For very high value items and faster delivery we do use various couriers such as UPS - in these cases we pass on P&P charges at cost.
Please note that some countries have unfortunately been blacklisted as fraud hotspots. Whilst we do not rule out shipping to these locations we would insist on payment by money transfer or similar and will not accept credit card transactions from these locations.
What is your Return Policy?
All items returned undamaged within 30 days will be refunded in full.
Do you have a great recipe for Welsh Cakes?
Yes. Yes, we have:
Welsh Cake Recipe (Pice Bach)
(250g) 8oz self-raising flour
(75g) 3 oz butter
(1/4 tsp) pinch of salt
(75g) 3 oz currents
(75g) 3oz caster sugar
A little milk (to mix)
Extra caster sugar (to sprinkle)
¼ tsp of spice (optional)
Rub the fat into the flour. Add the dry ingredients, then the egg and the milk. Mix into a stiff paste. Roll out, cut into rounds and bake on a griddle over medium heat. When cold, sprinkle with extra caster sugar. It's that simple.
Some Welsh Gold Facts and myth-busting:
- Colour - Welsh Gold is yellow. If gold appears pink then this is usually because it has been alloyed with cheap copper. A good quality 9ct or 18ct alloy will have a high silver content giving it greater weight and lustre.
- Mines - over the centuries there have been many Welsh goldmines including Dolaucothi (mined from pre-Roman times, Gwynfynydd, Edward VII and St Davids (also often referred to as Clogau St David’s).
- Authenticity - A dragon mark on a piece of jewellery does not signify that it is made of Welsh Gold. The only independent mark ever applied to denote Welsh Gold was the "Welsh Maiden" mark used on Gwynfynydd gold in the 1980's.
- There are no active mines in Wales at this time.
- As far as we are aware there is no valid current prospecting licence issued in Wales. This means that even prospecting for tiny amounts of gold from Welsh rivers and selling finds commercially is an illegal practice.
- Within living memory there have been very few goldsmiths working with Welsh Gold.
- Even fewer currently possess any significant amounts of Welsh Gold.
- Supply - There are still gold reserves in the mountains of Wales but the nature of the terrain, the difficulties involved and environmental considerations have made it prohibitively expensive to extract in commercially viable quantities. The current relatively high price of gold as a commodity has rekindled interest in commercial exploitation of gold in Wales but this process is at a very early stage.