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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Band of Welsh gold for Douglas
Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones will marry next month
Hollywood film star Michael Douglas has bought his wedding ring from a tiny jewellery shop in a west Wales town.

The multi-millionaire paid 3,500 for the Welsh gold ring which is inscribed with an ancient Celtic design.

Douglas, 56, will wear the band when he marries Swansea-born Catherine Zeta Jones in New York next month.

The star bought the ring from T.J. Davies Jewellers in Aberystwyth, after reading about the history of Welsh gold on the internet.

Douglas will be following a Royal tradition by wearing a band of Welsh gold - Princess Diana's ring was made from the precious metal mined in the mountains of Snowdonia.

It will be nice to see a close up of the ring on the wedding day

John Davies
Catherine's aunt Thelma Jones runs a seafront hotel in Aberystwyth and contacted the jewellers on Douglas' behalf.

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine told Mrs Jones that Douglas wanted a wedding ring crafted out of gold mined in Wales.

A selection of Welsh gold rings from the jewellers were taken to Swansea earlier this month while the stars were visiting her family with their baby son Dylan.

The gold for the ring was mined at the Gwyngynydd Mines Royal near Dolgellau in north Wales.

Jeweller John Davies said they were very pleased Douglas had come to them, but were trying to keep the matter discreet.

Douglas' wedding ring was bought in Aberystwyth

"But I admit it will be nice to see a close up of the ring on the wedding day."

Staff at the shop confirmed that only Douglas bought a ring from them - details of Catherine's ring remain a secret.

Mrs Jones, who runs the Belle Vue Royal Hotel in Aberystwyth, was not talking about her part in the wedding ring purchase.

But her daughter, Catherine's cousin Marilyn said: "My mother took a selection of rings to him.."

"Michael loved the Welsh gold rings and was very easily pleased."

Marilyn, 28, is one of more than 20 of Catherine's Welsh relatives due to fly to America next month for the wedding on November 18 in the New York Plaza Hotel.

Catherine Zeta Jones
Catherine Zeta Jones in Swansea earlier this month

President of the Aberystwyth Chamber of Commerce George Bryan said: "This is a boost for the town and for local businesses and shows we can compete with the best."

Managing director of Welsh Gold PLC, Roland Phelps, who run the Gwyngynydd mines, said he was delighted Douglas has chosen Welsh gold.

"When it was announced he was marrying Catherine Zeta Jones I e-mailed him explaining the history of Welsh gold."

"It is the most precious metal in the world, more precious than platinum and it is a tradition that royal wedding rings are made out of it."

Mr Phelps said the top price for a man's Welsh gold wedding ring is 3,500.

And he revealed Welsh gold is about to become even more precious - the reserves at his mine in north Wales will last just two more years.

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See also:

01 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Douglas blasts wedding reports
09 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Baby boy for Zeta Jones and Douglas
05 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Jones and Douglas back children's charity
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