A trace of rare Welsh gold in gold coin ‘firsts’ for the new Prince & Princess of Wales
Along with the accession of Charles as our new king last year, his son, William, became the new Prince of Wales. With characteristic sensitivity, he accepted the role without a formal investiture ceremony, mindful of the fact that for many in Wales the title remains contentious. He has spoken of it as a great honour, pledging to serve Wales with humility and great respect for its people.
In our modern era, the title ‘Prince of Wales’ is no longer a title of authority but one of ceremony, and although there was no formal investiture event, the fact that William is now the 23rd Prince of Wales deserves to be recognised. His wife Catherine, or ‘Kate’ as she is often known, is now the Princess of Wales, the first to use that title since William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
To celebrate the new Prince & Princess of Wales, for the first time in over 200 years of gold sovereign history, coins have been minted from 22 carat gold that includes a trace amount of rare Welsh gold in the mixture. Gold sourced from the mines in Wales is highly prized, and very rare, and it has a long and proud association with the Royal Family.
These new Prince & Princess of Wales sovereign coins are of great significance, and different coins in the series have different features, so here’s a brief snapshot of their most important benefits:
- This is the very first time that sovereign coins have incorporated rare Welsh gold in the minting process. Welsh gold is so rare that only tiny quantities are used in the gold mixture when crafting gold items. Although these coins include only a trace amount (less than 1%) it is the fact that Welsh gold is included that is significant.
- The sovereign is special as it is the first sovereign to depict both the new Prince, and Princess, of Wales. Catherine is only the second Princess of Wales in history to be celebrated on a gold sovereign coin, the first being William’s mother, Diana, some years ago.
- The half sovereign and quarter sovereign are special too as they are in tribute only to Prince William. This creates two very special coins as with his father King Charles III on the other side they are the first of their kind ever to depict a reigning British king and his hier on either side of the same coin
- In a rare occurrence, both sides of the coins have been designed by the same artist, Jody Clark, whose masterful hand has perfectly captured their likenesses.
First-of-a-kind sovereigns with world-class portraiture!
Prince William is the oldest person to be appointed Prince of Wales, at the age of 40. This title has traditionally been bestowed on the male heir apparent of the British monarch since Edward I of England gave his son Edward of Caernarfon the title in 1284. Since 1409, the title has been purely ceremonial.
Whilst King Charles III was Invested at a grand ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1969, changing times have led the Prince and Princess of Wales to adopt their titles in a more discreet fashion.
Instead, we commemorate this important event with a series of sovereigns containing a trace of very rare Welsh gold, and graced with contemporary portraits of William and Kate at the very moment in time they received these titles.
These exceptional portraits have been beautifully rendered by the most accomplished and skilled coin portrait designer alive today – Jody Clark. As the youngest designer to have created a definitive coinage portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, he is admired around the world for the simplicity, refinement and detailed observation in his designs.
So, although there will be no formal ceremony marking the conferring of these titles, this series of first-of-a-kind gold sovereigns is a worthy commemoration of this centuries-old royal tradition.
Welsh gold – so rare it is usually reserved only for the Royal Family
Welsh gold is so rare that only tiny traces of it can be used in gold items. Only objects of the greatest significance contain Welsh gold – for example, the regalia used at the investiture of Edward, Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in 1911. Keen to give Wales its own pageantry surrounding the office of Prince of Wales, Welsh politician and future Prime Minister, David Lloyd George commissioned a new coronet, rod, ring, sword and mantle with doublet and sash, incorporating precious Welsh gold from a mine in Gwynedd.
For over a century, Welsh gold has been linked with the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, her daughter Queen Elizabeth II, and granddaughter Princess Anne, all had wedding rings crafted from Welsh gold. So too did Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981, Catherine, Princess of Wales in 2011, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex in 2018 and Princess Eugenie in 2018. The King himself has also chosen Welsh gold for his wedding band.
With gold mining no longer undertaken in Wales, no more Welsh gold is becoming available, which in turn means the gold that exists is highly sought after. Highly prized for its purity and colour, it is one of the most sought-after precious metals in existence.
Authorised by Tristan Da Cunha and approved by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Buckingham Palace, it is a wonderful celebration – the first gold coin to depict both the new Prince, and Princess, of Wales.
This set comes in a luxury presentation box with space to put your 2023 Prince and Princess of Wales Gold One Eighth Sovereign.