Home Grown Gold
"Market panic pushes gold buying"..... (today's newspaper).. so gold is topical once again and the price is now rising so why not look at our own resources?
Dendritic gold crystal from South Hams, Devon
Amongst my personal "squirrel-like" habits, is my tendency to collect cuttings from newspapers or magazines telling stories about gold and silver discoveries in Britain.
The Times in May 2011 carried a story about gold panning in Cumbria, where an 80-year old amateur prospector is proudly demonstrating his phial of nuggets panned from local streams.
In 2003, a fellow jeweller in Edinburgh was astonished to be greeted by a customer with a jam-jar full of "gold nuggets". He had panned every potential stream in Scotland for gold over many years and eventually collected 400 grams (~£10,000 today) of gold flakes and granules...well justified reward for what had clearly been years of very hard graft!
However, other examples are surprisingly close to home.........apart from your own jewellery, you might be much closer than you think to some real gold deposits:-
"Gold is found in West" said The Western Morning News in July 1989.... "The West Country could contain the largest deposits of gold in England". By June 1994 the same newspaper shouted "Village may be on verge of a gold bonanza" after promising geological exploration near Launceston and South Hams, Devon (see picture).
"Crediton to expand Devon gold search" --The Times' headline June 1998 reported further evidence of elevated gold values over a wide area"-- in a 300 square miles wide valley north of Exeter where the gold still remains undisturbed.
Welsh gold has been known and exploited for millenia in areas as wide apart as Anglesey, Dolgellau as well as central Wales. It is well established that the ancient Olgofau mines were worked from circa. AD75 by Roman engineers who characteristically employed very sophisticated technology.
Only the Royal Family has the right to mine Welsh gold, with one known exception. A company was formed in England 25 years ago to purchase one of the Welsh mines and the assistance of three local miners. Only limited quantities of gold ore are produced from this small mine, but enough to enable the company to design and produce Clogau jewellery, each piece containing a small proportion of their rare Welsh gold.
Anthony White FGA FGS
PSJ Jewellers, Yeovil