Scottish Gold

November 25, 2023

The history of Scottish gold is as romantic as the jewellery into which it is crafted. One of the rarest forms of gold on Earth, Hamilton & Inches are one of only two jewellers in the world permitted to work with this precious material.

Until recently, only tiny grains of gold were found glittering in riverbeds in the Scottish Highlands during the 1800s. It was enough to start a Scottish Gold rush, with many hopeful people searching and panning, though little was found and less survived.

An exciting chapter is now being written in the history of Scottish Gold jewellery. For the first time ever, Scottish Gold mines are extracting this rare metal for commercial use. Hamilton & Inches is one of only two jewellers in the world with access to Scottish Gold, creating authentic fine jewellery ethically sourced from Tyndrum.

Scottish Gold has been used in jewellery for hundreds of years with the earliest of known pieces dating back to the Iron Age. Our most famous historical leaders such as Mary Queen of Scots and Robert the Bruce were known to have adorned themselves in the treasured element. Scotland’s captivation with gold has been a significant part of our culture for hundreds of years.

During the Victorian era, many Scots were enthused by the discovery of gold in California. The stories travelled across the North Atlantic Ocean, inspiring many to seek their fortune in the new land. However, many of those who panned for gold were untrained in the field and mistook pyrite for gold, making it historically known as the Fool’s Gold Rush.

 Scottish gold is prized for its rarity, lustre and beauty. The Museum of Scotland displays Iron Age gold torcs, medieval coins and precious jewellery, but there are just three artefacts marked as Scottish gold, one of which is a piece by Hamilton & Inches.


Made up in their workshops on George Street, each Scottish gold piece is crafted by hand with skills and techniques passed down from previous generations. Maintaining the purity of the gold is of the utmost importance –separate tools, benches and workspaces are used to ensure there is no cross-contamination, so each piece which leaves the workshops on George Street can be tested and independently verified by the Edinburgh Assay office as Scottish gold. Whilst this can pose a logistical challenge, especially within a small workshop environment, the extra discipline and accuracy required adds a further sense of theatre to working with such a special and rare material. Alongside the usual hallmarks required to verify precious metals, each piece is marked by the Edinburgh Assay office with a stag, a unique mark which identifies it as Scottish gold.

Hamilton &Inches have been proudly working with Scottish gold since 2019. The latest collection launched in May this year, the Fleur-de-lys and Star Fleur-de-lys collections, were inspired by the 22ct Scottish gold, 30-piece fine jewellery collection which Hamilton & Inches first launched their Scottish gold collections with. Crafted in 2019 and designed to showcase a modern interpretation of historic style, Mary Queen of Scots was a significant inspiration for the initial designs. Famous for tragedy in her life and death, renowned for her Renaissance style, Mary remains an emblem of Scotland. Over her lifetime she acquired a magnificent jewellery collection, much of it reflecting her upbringing.

Many elements of the collection were directly inspired by her taste, particularly the Queen of Scots ring. Other items feature symbols found in the windows and woodwork of grand old Scottish houses and the Fleu-de-lys symbol, a motif which was then used to shape the latest 18ct Scottish gold collection.


Available to purchase in their showroom at 87 George Street, Hamilton & Inches also offer a bespoke design service, for those looking to design their own unique piece, in a material truly ‘of Scotland’. Signet rings, wedding bands and engagement rings are amongst the many pieces with which people are choosing to purchase in Scottish gold, pieces which celebrate life’s extraordinary moments, in a gold as special as the sentiment they represent.


Since 1866, Hamilton & Inches has been Edinburgh’s premiere destination for fine jewellery, luxury watches and handcrafted silver. They have maintained their goldsmith and silversmith workshops since inception, and have held a Royal Warrant for more than 125 years. Based on the magnificent George Street, their onsite workshops are home to a team of highly skilled craftspeople, including master polishers, goldsmiths, silversmiths, engravers and watchmakers; all of whom have honed their craft and skills through the knowledge passed down from previous generations. They continue to offer a range of specialist in-house services including repairs, engravings and valuations, and as an official Rolex retailer, are proud to be one of only two Rolex accredited service centres in Scotland.

Dedicated to enhancing the customer experience, Hamilton &Inches recently embarked on an incredible transformation, with elegant upgrade staking place across its showroom, workshops, and service department, creating a space that celebrates heritage whilst innovating with contemporary design.


Their pieces, lovingly hand-crafted by award-winning specialists, are designed and made to be heirlooms of the future, and this is exactly how their latest Scottish gold collection, launched in May of this year, is celebrated.


We are delighted to offer our clients various experiences at Hamilton& Inches throughout their trip to Scotland. If this has inspired you to design or purchase your own piece of Scotland, get in touch with us at today to organise your trip.