Ever since Meghan Markle announced her engagement to Prince Harry last fall and fully stepped into the spotlight as a royal-to-be, all eyes have been on her every move and, of course, her every stylish outfit. Not only is it exciting enough just to watch the now-duchess show up to event after event in gorgeous designer garb, but, as many outlets have reported, Markle has also proved to have a tangible financial effect on the fashion industry, dubbed the "Meghan Markle Effect." Basically, just like Kate Middleton before her, if Markle wears something, it sells out almost immediately.
As People reported this week, that influence goes far beyond the realms of clothes, bags, and messy buns. Clogau, a family-owned jeweler in North Wales that specializes in creating pieces using local materials, told the outlet that ever since Markle's wedding band was reported to be crafted from Welsh gold, interest in the rare metal has seen a major increase. "We get a lot of exposure when there is a royal wedding," a Clogau spokesperson said. "It was the same when William and Kate got married. It definitely gives business a boost. Whenever the public becomes aware of the royal connection then there is increased interest in rare Welsh gold." They added, "We have our own bridal concept and we have a trilogy-style engagement ring, and her ring was the same style as that."
The Duchess of Sussex's wedding band wasn't made by Clogau, but by Cleave and Company, the London-based court jewelers and medallists to Queen Elizabeth II, who were also responsible for Markle's engagement ring. The Welsh gold that Cleave and Company used in Markle's ring was gifted to her by the queen, per People, and aligns with a nearly century-old tradition of using the metal in royal wedding bands. In 1923, the queen mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, had her wedding ring made using gold from the Clogau St. David's mine that had been donated to the royal family. Since then, Princess Diana, Duchess Camilla, and Kate Middleton have all reportedly included the rare metal in their own bands. That said, the key word here is "rare": While people may now be more interested in Welsh gold, there's still a finite amount in the world, and thus, chances are slim that all those people will actually be able to get their hands on a ring like Meghan's — "Markle Effect" or not.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding Look