Meghan Markle Wedding Ring: A Long-Standing Windsor Family Tradition
Feb 18, 2023
Meghan Markle's sparkly engagement ring certainly got a lot of publicity. But the Meghan Markle wedding ring couldn't be more different. Though it looks like an ordinary gold wedding band at first, it has a surprisingly rich backstory.
What Does the Meghan Markle Wedding Band Look Like?
At first glance, Meghan's wedding band looks like a classic, understated piece. It's an unadorned, highly polished gold band made from rare Welsh gold. Its simple aesthetic matched that of Prince Harry's ring, a textured platinum band.
Even though the ring looks simple, anyone familiar with jewelry or precious metals, in general, will be able to tell how valuable it is. It almost appears "golder" than other types of gold, if that's even possible!
Meghan Markle Wedding Ring Cost
Many jewelry experts consider Welsh gold to be priceless, as it isn't being mined today. All the available Welsh gold is already in circulation, so you would need to purchase an already-made piece to acquire it.
The source gold has been in the royal collection for decades, making it difficult or impossible to accurately value, at least in the monetary sense. If Meghan's wedding band has an exact value, the royals have been tight-lipped about it!
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What Is Meghan Markle Wedding Ring Made Of?
This wedding ring isn't made out of any ordinary gold. Like many wedding rings in the royal family, this one was made from a piece of rare Welsh gold. The gold comes from the Clogau St. David's Gold Mine, and it has been in the royal family for quite some time.
The Clogau St. David's mine was initially only used for copper and lead, but in 1854, a miner discovered gold. The Clogau mine went on to become the largest gold producer in the entire UK. Over 80,000 ounces of gold were discovered.
The mine was heavily used until 1911, but it was periodically reopened. It eventually closed in 1998, as gold was getting more expensive to extract and the quantities of gold in the mine appeared to be nearly exhausted. Since gold is no longer mined in the Clogau mine or elsewhere in Wales, this ring is extra-special!
The Royal Welsh gold tradition began in 1923 when King George VI was given a sizeable gold nugget from the mine. That initial nugget has reportedly been used up, but to keep the tradition going, the Queen was able to obtain more Welsh gold.
If you're hoping to get your hands on some of the same Welsh gold, you might be out of luck. Some jewelry experts have claimed that what most jewelers now advertise as "Welsh gold" is just a tiny amount of Welsh gold mixed with ordinary gold.
Welsh Gold vs Regular Gold
You might wonder if Welsh gold looks any different from regular gold. Some people think so: it's said to have a rich, almost rosy glow (that's different from that of rose gold, of course). And it almost appears "golder" than other types of gold, if that's even possible!
Why Did Meghan Markle Choose This Ring?
Meghan Markle's choice of this ring honors a long-standing Windsor family tradition started by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the first part of the 20th century. In this tradition, each royal bride receives a custom-made ring made out of the rare Welsh gold from the Clogau St. David's mine.
This tradition extends to the present day. Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Camilla (the Duchess of Cornwall), and Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) have all worn wedding rings made of the same gold.
Where Did Meghan Markle Get Her Wedding Ring?
As per royal tradition, the Queen gave Meghan Markle her wedding band. The band was made by bespoke jewelers Cleave and Company. Interestingly enough, Cleave and Company also made Meghan's stunning engagement ring.
It's since been inundated with requests for copies. The company's director publicly announced that Cleave and Company would not be making any replicas of Meghan's ring, but that the jeweler would work with customers to help them create their own unique rings.
Does the Meghan Markle Wedding Ring Match the Engagement Ring?
As you might expect, Meghan's wedding band goes beautifully with her engagement ring. Both are yellow gold (Harry has said that yellow gold is Meghan's favorite), though the wedding band is the only one made with the precious Welsh gold.
The engagement ring has a rich backstory to match that of the wedding ring, too. Prince Harry worked with Cleave and Company to design it specifically for Meghan. It's considerably glitzier than the wedding band, as it features a sparkling, cushion-cut diamond from Botswana that's estimated to be around three carats.
Like the wedding band, the engagement ring was also inspired by tradition. Prince Harry chose two diamonds once owned by his mother, the late Princess Diana, to sit on either side of the center diamond.
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