FOUR exclusive Clogau lapel badges have been specially commissioned, including one for the first GWCT Welsh Game Fair at Vaynol Estate, Bangor in September.
Designed with bird of prey, gundog, pheasant and salmon motifs, the pin badges are destined to be collectors’ pieces. The GWCT Welsh Game Fair badge with a bird of prey motif will be available from the event’s box office.
The three other badges have been made for the Festival of the Countryside, with a gundog motif, the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, with salmon motif and the World Gunmakers Evening, with a pheasant motif.
The three-day GWCT Welsh Game Fair, from September 9-11, will be a celebration of the Welsh countryside, featuring fishing, clay shooting, gundogs, game cookery, falconry, horses and hounds, as well as rural crafts, food and drink.
James Gower, managing director of Stable Events Ltd, which is organising the GWCT Welsh Game Fair in partnership with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, is delighted with the support of Clogau, the iconic Welsh jewellery brand.
In addition to hand-crafting the badges, Clogau will be sponsoring the VIP Enclosure and celebrity chef Bryn Williams’ White Park Restaurant at the event. To reflect the sponsorship, Bryn plans to use gold leaf on some of the desserts he will be creating as part of a bespoke breakfast and lunch menu for VIP ticket holders.
“Both Clogau and Bryn Williams are fantastic Welsh success stories,” said James. “It’s a match made in heaven because they both work with their hands to create products of the finest quality. We have found Welsh gold by teaming them up!
“We are proud and delighted to have Clogau and Bryn onboard for the GWCT Welsh Game Fair which promises to be a very special event for Wales, celebrating the countryside, conservation, country life and the communities and culture of Wales.”
During the GWCT Welsh Game Fair, Clogau will be welcoming families to the company’s stand where, guided by staff, children will be able to make jewellery and pan for gold.
Clogau jewellery will be on display in lounge and reception areas and visitors will be able to purchase pieces online.
Underlining the company’s sustainability and environmental credentials, Clogau uses fully recyclable packaging and plants a tree in North Wales every time a customer opts to give a small donation when making an online purchase. The customer’s name is also attached to the tree.
Clogau’s product development manager Sam Owen, sister of managing director Ben Roberts, designs all the company’s jewellery, which is highly prized because it contains rare Welsh gold which has been used in wedding rings made for members of the royal family since 1923.
Ben said: “We are excited to be part of the very first GWCT Welsh Game Fair which promises to celebrate so much of our country’s rich heritage, be enormous fun for all involved and shine a light on the breadth and depth of Welsh products, food and drink.
“Clogau is a company with Wales running through its veins and to sponsor the VIP Enclosure is a perfect fit for us. I am thoroughly looking forward to attending the event myself, reinforcing Clogau’s commitment to the countryside, to sustainability and being the first Carbon Negative jewellery company.”
The history of Clogau lies deep within the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park. Gold was discovered at the Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu, near Barmouth in 1854 and it became the richest and most productive gold mine in the Dolgellau gold belt.
Clogau was formed in 1989 when William Roberts learnt, over a drink in the local pub, about an abandoned gold mine under the land he had purchased to create an activity centre for tourists.
Bill first made plans to use the mine as part of his tourist attraction, giving visitors the chance to pan for gold, but later decided to mine for gold himself and use it to create high-quality jewellery.
Bill’s son Ben takes up the story: “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 was behind the creation of our 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.”
The Clogau St. David’s mine was a great success and set the company on an exciting new path. In 1992, the first jewellery containing rare Welsh gold from the mine was sold to the public.
Since then, the brand has flourished, with 12 boutique shops – Conwy opened in August – and three outlet stores and hundreds of retail partners across the UK. While the Clogau mine has now closed, the business is in possession of ample reserves from when it was active.
Every piece of Clogau jewellery contains rare Welsh gold and features a Welsh dragon stamp. Welsh gold has been used to create wedding rings for members of the royal family since 1923, when the Queen Mother, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, married the Duke of York.
Every major royal wedding since has included Welsh gold rings, including the weddings of Catherine Middleton and Prince William and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.