Clogau Gold (pronounced “clog-eye”) is a relatively young and dynamic company, yet it’s a company steeped in tradition and history that many other brands would envy.
With a range of over 400 product lines, Clogau Gold has come a long way since the idea was first conceived in 1989 and the eventual launch of five product lines in 1992. Today, Clogau are one of the fastest growing jewellery brands on the UK high street, and we stand proud amongst some of the strongest brands in the industry.
Clogau Gold holds deep ties to Welsh history and steeped in tradition which makes it so unique.
In 1854, the owner of a copper mine accidentally stumbled across glistening yellow pieces from within a piece of waste rock extracted from the mine – the first signs of Welsh gold. From this point on, the mine was no longer to extract copper and instead became the Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine.
The mine actually dated back to the Roman era when it was very first discovered, it later and proved to be one of Wales’s most productive mines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during the Welsh ‘Gold Rush’.
This same mine, left abandoned, was later discovered by a Welsh family in 1989. Its founder, William Roberts, intended to open the mine as a tourist attraction. However, this idea was overturned due to strict planning restrictions within the Snowdonia National Park. William then decided to gamble on the idea that there may still be some Welsh gold left within the hills. Luckily, the risk paid off and there was enough gold left to complete a few years worth of small scale mining, beginning in 1992, where small amounts of precious rose-coloured gold was extracted.
William decided to use the extraordinary gold to produce jewellery of the utmost beauty and quality using Wales as the sole design inspiration. And so in 1994, the “Clogau Gold” brand was born with the launch of just five pieces of jewellery.
Due to the scarcity of Welsh gold, and the extraordinary cost associated with mining it – £1,000 per ounce – the decision was made to only include a small amount of the gold in each piece of jewellery. This way, the gold would last as long as possible and the jewellery would be more affordable.
Welsh gold is so precious that a single nugget of it has been used to create wedding rings for generations of the Royal Family, a tradition began by the Queen Mother in 1923. Subsequently The Queen, Princess Margaret, Princess Diana, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall all had wedding rings made from the same nugget of pure Welsh gold.
The high cost of mining and the diminishing quantities of gold caused the eventual closure of the mine in 1998. As a result of this, our Welsh gold supply will eventually run out making it the rarest gold in the world.
Attempts have been made to make use of the discontinued mine. The idea of re-opening the mine in the hope that there is more gold left is an extremely appealing one, but the cost of doing so would be very expensive – six times as much extracting gold anywhere else. Therefore the future of the Clogau St. David’s mine remains unknown.
The history of the company
The Clogau Gold story so far…
- 1989 Clogau St. David’s Mine acquired by William Roberts
- 1992 Started mining
- 1994 Started producing jewellery
- 1995 Clogau concentrate on direct marketing and national awareness
- 1996 Clogau launches website
- 2006 William & Ben decide to move the production overseas
- 2007 Ben becomes Managing Director
- 2008 Clogau breaks into travel retail sector
- 2009 Shortlisted as a finalist for Welsh Company of the Year in the Chambers of Commerce Business Awards
- 2009 Winner of ‘Excellence in Marketing’ in the Chambers of Commerce Business Awards
- 2009 36th fastest growing company in Wales according to the Insider Growth 100 table
- 2009 Clogau open first Clogau Gold store on the Bridgend Designer Outlet
- 2009/2010 Official licensee for the 2010 Ryder Cup & WRU
- 2010Launched the Clogau Shop-in-Shop and Retailer Web Platform
- 2011International trade grows by 360% following Royal wedding announcement
- 2011 Royal confirmation that Welsh gold will be used for April’s Royal wedding rings
Clogau Gold today
William’s son, Ben, replaced him as Managing Director of Clogau Gold in 2007, making Clogau Gold a true family-run business.
Ben reminisces, “It never fails to amaze me when I think back to the early days of Clogau Gold nearly 20 years ago.I was a young boy back then but I can remember my father being hugely excited about a gold mine he had discovered in the wild Snowdonia mountains. I didn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about at the time but as I grew up I would always be inspired by his dedication to do what he really believed in.”
Today, Clogau Gold is one of the fastest growing jewellery brands on the UK high street and stands proud amongst some of the strongest brands in the industry. Clogau Gold sells through multiple channels including independent and multiple jewellery stores, department stores, travel retail in-flight magazines, TV shopping channels, and direct mail. Clogau Gold is available in over 500 outlets in the UK including retailers such as H. Samuel, F Hinds and Goldsmiths and is consistently ranked in the top 2 selling gold and silver brands in the UK.
Clogau has moved on since it first began in 1989 with only 3 employees (who were also miners) to now employing around 40 people to operate its North Wales head office. One thing that hasn’t changed significantly is the design process. Once Ben has an idea for a new piece, it is briefed and sent to one of the many Clogau designers who create an initial design concept. The design is then reproduced using computer-aided design software to send to the manufacturer. The jewellery then has to complete a 7-stage quality control process before it is approved.
Without a doubt, the natural beauty and traditions associated with Wales are the main inspiration behind the jewellery that Clogau Gold produces which is reflected in the popular collections that currently exist in Clogau’s range including the Tree of Life collection, the Milestones collection, the Sessile Oak collection and the Cariad collection.
The future of Clogau Gold
In 2011 Clogau Gold continues to release new and inspiring collections and additional pieces, keeping its customers engaged with the brand. At the beginning of the year Clogau Gold unveiled a more contemporary collection at the annual Spring Fair trade show. As Ben said “The new range is a great reflection of the direction Clogau is moving in. A little more on the contemporary side than previous renowned collections, but still emulating the natural touch that is quintessentially Clogau”.
After growing rapidly in the UK over the past 3 years Clogau Gold is now turning its focus to international markets, particularly those in America and Asia. In a bid to create Clogau Gold as an internationally recognized brand, Clogau Gold plans to further target the travel retail sector while it already sells through British Airways, Virgin and Air Canada flights.
Ben, however, believes that the volatility of the jewellery market including fluctuating gold prices will make the year an ‘interesting’ one.
“As the story of Clogau Gold continues to unfold there’s one thing that will always remain – our dedication and love for permanently capturing this beautiful Welsh gold in the most uniquely beautiful jewellery. That’s what Clogau is all about.” says Ben.
Rings have been worn for centuries as a sign of wealth, loyalty, commitment and personal fashion taste. In the case of wedding rings and engagement rings, they are a sign of loyalty to a partner. The concept of a jewellery ring is simple, yet keeping the design contemporary, meaningful and stylish is an art within itself. Using a wide range of high quality materials, from gold, silver, diamonds, the Clogau Gold design team thrives on the challenge of developing unique ring designs that make you stand out in the most beautiful and stylish way possible.
Clogau Gold Charms
Collectable, popular and simply adorable, charms are the perfect gift for any jewellery lover. And our collection of charms are some of the unique and lovable you will find anywhere. Some people think that charms are only made for charm bracelets. But this is not necessarily so. You can attach them to any chain or pendant or your choice. For a small fee, we can carefully laser and solder any Clogau charm onto any bracelet or chain that you wish.
Today, you will find some of Clogau’s most bold, unique and modern designs within our expanding watch collection. We appreciate how important watches are. They should compliment your jewellery, your shirt or outfit but they should also stand as a beautiful piece of jewellery in their own right. When choosing a watch, it should make a statement about you as well as function accurately. Clogau’s watches for men and women do just that with a selection of intricate, classic and modern styles to choose from.
Clogau Gold Diamonds
Diamonds are some of the most ancient and beautiful stones on earth. The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek (adámas), meaning proper, unalterable, unbreakable, untamed. The most familiar usage of diamonds today is, of course, as gemstones used for adornment, a usage which dates back into antiquity. Diamond is the hardest natural material known and is the source of its name. The hardness of diamonds means that it is highly suitability as a gemstone. Since it can only be scratched by other diamonds, it maintains its polish extremely well. Unlike many other gems, it is well-suited to daily wear because of its resistance to scratching. Diamonds are a common feature in the Clogau Gold jewellery range. The cut we we use most often is called the ‘brilliant cut’. Since a round diamond is symmetrical and capable of reflecting nearly all the light that enters, it is the most brilliant of all diamond shapes and follows specific proportional guidelines. We also use the princess cut. This cut will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire which is missing in deep or shallow-cut diamonds.
Clogau Gold Pendants
Throughout history pendants and necklaces have had many purposes, from warding off evil spirits, to signifying social status, to expressing personal jewellery fashion taste. Here at Clogau, we have pendants that express love with unique, intricate heart designs. We have pendants that are modern jewellery fashion statements in silver and rose gold. And we have pendants that exude luxury and elegance with high quality diamonds and 18ct gold. If you are looking for a meaningful and unique pendant that has been handcrafted to the highest quality, you are sure to find it at Clogau Gold. Choose from our growing range of luxurious, high quality pendants that each contain a touch of rare Welsh gold.
Clogau Gold Bracelets
Clogau’s selection of bracelets is one of the most exciting ranges of jewellery you can buy. Each bracelet is highly unique and luxurious, both for its design and its quality. Each bracelet has that distinctive weighty feel that is common throughout the Clogau range. When you wear a Clogau Gold bracelet, you know that it is special. It feels substantial, it is highly polished, it has been expertly handcrafted. For a gorgeous piece of jewellery that makes you feel special and will stand the test of time, your perfect choice is a Clogau Gold bracelet.
Clogau Gold Earrings
Earrings are one of the oldest known forms of jewellery, with artistic and written references from cultures around the world dating back to early history. At Clogau we offer a wide selection of different earring types. We have hoop earrings, stud earrings, dangle earrings, drop earrings, heart earrings, fashion earrings, earrings in 9ct gold, earrings in 18ct gold, earrings in silver, plus many earrings with diamonds and precious stones. If you are looking for exceptionally high quality earrings that have been handcrafted to the highest standard, then Clogau Gold will have the perfect earrings for you.