Scottish gold makes a mark in Orkney

Some of the first pieces of jewellery to be made purely from newly mined Scottish gold have been produced in Orkney over recent months.

Earlier this year local jewellery designer Sheila Fleet became one of only two jewellers to be named as an authorised maker and retailer of Scottish gold, which comes from the Cononish gold mine near Tyndrum.

A view of the river at Cononish with the gold mine in the background
A view of the river at Cononish with the gold mine in the background

Since then more than thirty beautiful Scottish gold rings have been produced in the islands, with the mine and its surrounding area providing inspiration for the new ‘Captivate’ collection too. “It’s just so exciting to think we are using the fabric of Scotland to make something,” said Sheila. “’Captivate’ is inspired by the gold mine itself and the burn that runs nearby, so it’s a very special place.”

The Cononish mine, run by Scotgold Resources, is the only commercial gold mine in Scotland and won’t be fully operational until 2019. Small amounts of gold have been produced on a trial basis, with Orkney’s Sheila Fleet Jewellery lucky enough to become one of the approved producers.

“I first heard about the plans to reopen the mine a few years ago and went down for a look,” said Sheila. “I was very interested in the project and I’ve followed the Scotgold story ever since.”

Since then Sheila has been working on her Scottish gold designs, with the fruits of her labour taking shape on the benches in her workshop in Orkney’s east mainland. Her ring designs come in 18 carat yellow, white and rose gold and, because the supplies are so limited, pieces made from Scottish gold are marked on the inside with their own unique serial number.

“People are just fascinated by the fact that these rings come from pure Scottish gold. The thing that I love the most is that we’re part of everybody’s special moment when it comes to things like this.”

Find out more from the official Sheila Fleet Jewellery website.

If you’d like to own a unique Sheila Fleet Scottish gold designer ring, contact Maureen on 01856 861 203 or

The Digital Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020 Programme.